Skip to main content

Full text of "Life of the Right Honourable William Pitt"

See other formats

This is a digital copy of a book that was preserved for generations on library shelves before it was carefully scanned by Google as part of a project 
to make the world's books discoverable online. 

It has survived long enough for the copyright to expire and the book to enter the public domain. A public domain book is one that was never subject 
to copyright or whose legal copyright term has expired. Whether a book is in the public domain may vary country to country. Public domain books 
are our gateways to the past, representing a wealth of history, culture and knowledge that's often difficult to discover. 

Marks, notations and other marginalia present in the original volume will appear in this file - a reminder of this book's long journey from the 
publisher to a library and finally to you. 

Usage guidelines 

Google is proud to partner with libraries to digitize public domain materials and make them widely accessible. Public domain books belong to the 
public and we are merely their custodians. Nevertheless, this work is expensive, so in order to keep providing this resource, we have taken steps to 
prevent abuse by commercial parties, including placing technical restrictions on automated querying. 

We also ask that you: 

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Google Book Search for use by individuals, and we request that you use these files for 
personal, non-commercial purposes. 

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort to Google's system: If you are conducting research on machine 
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the 
use of public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help. 

+ Maintain attribution The Google "watermark" you see on each file is essential for informing people about this project and helping them find 
additional materials through Google Book Search. Please do not remove it. 

+ Keep it legal Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just 
because we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States, that the work is also in the public domain for users in other 
countries. Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of 
any specific book is allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Google Book Search means it can be used in any manner 
anywhere in the world. Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe. 

About Google Book Search 

Google's mission is to organize the world's information and to make it universally accessible and useful. Google Book Search helps readers 
discover the world's books while helping authors and publishers reach new audiences. You can search through the full text of this book on the web 

at |http : //books . google . com/ 



1803 — 1806. 



1803 — 1806. 










The right qf lYantUUion it reterwd. 


Hester Stannope — Pitt's tour of inspection — Controversy carried 
on in pamphlets— Conduct of Government respecting the defence 
of the country — Pitt's gun-boats — Grand Volunteer Reviews in 
Hyde Park — Ministerial changes, and Parliamentary recruits — 
Pitt's speech on the Volunteers — Volunteer Exemption Bill — 
State of the Navy Page 76 



Lord Grenville*s proposed junction with Fox — Declined by Pitt — 
Party pamphlets — Illness of the King — Pitt's confidential con- 
versation with Lord Jtfalmesbury — Proposed adjournment of the 
House of Commons — Pitt's speech on the Constitutional doctrine 

— Volunteer Consolidation Bill — Errors of Government in the Mili- 
> tary and Naval systems — Pitf s Motion on the State of the Navy — 

Interview between Pitt and Lord Eldon — Deaths of Lord Camel- 
ford and Lord Alvanley — Lord Moira at Edinburgh — Correspond- 
ence of Pitt with Ix)rd Melville — Votes in both Houses of Parlia- 
ment — Resignation of Ministers — The King applies to Pitt 113 



Pitt's views respectmg a new administration transmitted to the King — 
His Majesty's letter to Pitt — Pitt's replji — His interview with 
the King — Pitt undertakes the formation of a new Government, 
excluding Fox — Communications to other party chiefs — Fox's 
generous course — Lord Grenville's negative answer — Pitt receives 
the Seals — The new Cabinet — Other changes of office — Precarious 
state of the King's health 164 



Charge against Messrs. Drake and Spencer Smith — Execution of the 
Duke d'Enghien — The First Consul proclaimed Emperor of the 
French — Pitt's projected Continental alliances — Overtures of Mr. 
Livingston — Pitt's Memorandum — Wilberforce's renewed motion 
on the Slave Trade — Proclamation prohibiting the Trade in the 
conquered Colonies — Pitt's Additional Force Bill — Vote of Credit 

— Pitt's measures of Defence — Criticisms of Lend Grenville and 



Fo3t — Napoleon *8 plan of Invaaon — The Catanmrun^ — Success- 
fill operatioDS of the British out of Europe — Battles of Aasyt* and 
Aigauin — War with Spain — Boizure of the Treajmre Sbipa — Pitt's 
notect on the War, Germany, and Napoleou — Attempted reconcilia- 
tion bt^tweea the Ring and the Prince of Wales — Gaae of Lord 
Auckland Page 196 


1804 — 1B05. 

n^gnation of Lord Harrowby — Reconciliation between Pitt and 
Addingfton — Comments of Lord Camden and Bitihop Toniline — 
Lord Mul/^ve appointee! Seoretary for Foreign A&iis — Canning 
propoaes to retire — Addington beoomes Presidetit of the Council 
Bud Viacount Sidmouth — Lett*?r from Napol(jon to Georgt* the 
Third — Dt^athB of Lord Loughborough and of Arcltbisbop Moore 

— AppUcutioii from Bishop Pelhara — Parliamentary debates — 
EstablisUment for the Princess Charlotte — Pitt'a last Budget 235 



Naval adminiatration of Lord Melville — Tenth Eeport of the Oommift- 
gioners of Naval Inquiry — Ministunal differences — Whitbread's 
Besolutious — llmgimtion of Lt>rd Melville — Succeeded by Sir 
Charlea ^liddletoD ^ Discuflsions between Pitt and Lord Sidmouth 

— The King eupportii Pitt — Tho Tenth Report referred to a Select 
Committee — Lord Melville remove^l from the Privy Goiindl — 
Revival of the Roman Catholic claima — Speeches of Grattan and 
Pitt — Diplomatic negotiationa — Arrival of M. de Novosiltzoff in 
London — Treaty between Bojsaia and England — Lord Melville 
impeached — Rejection of Whitbread's motion against Pitt — Final 
resignation of Lonls Sidmouth and Buckinglmmsliire — Mmisterial 
arrangements — The King's decay of sight 270 



Napoleon crowned King of Italy — Annexation of Genoa to France — 
Grant of Lucca to the Princesa Eliaa — Third Coalition — Ville- 
neuve pursued by Nelson — Action betwetm Yilleneiive and Calder 
— ^ Villeneuvo proceeds to Cadiz — Eesentmeut of Napoleon — War 


Hester Stannope — Pitt s tour of inspection — Controversy carried 
on in pamphlets — Conduct of Government respecting the defence 
of the comitry — Pitt's gun-boats — Grand Volunteer Reviews in 
Hyde Park — Ministerial changes, and Parliamentary recruits — 
Pitfs speech on the Volunteers — Volunteer Exemption Bill — 
State of the Navy Page 76 



Lord Grenville*s proposed junction with Fox — Declined by Pitt — 
Party pamphlets — Illness of the King — Pitt's confidential con- 
versation with Lord Jtfalmesbury — Proposed adjournment of the 
House of Commons — Pitt*s speech on the Constitutional doctrine 
— Volunteer Consolidation Bill — Errors of Government in the Mili- 
' tary and Naval systems — Pitt* s Motion on the State of the Navy — 
Interview between Pitt and Lord Eldon — Deaths of Lord Camel- 
ford and Lord Alvanley — Lord Moira at Edinburgh — Correspond- 
ence of Pitt with Lord Melville — Votes in both Houses of Parlia- 
ment — Besignation of Ministers — The King applies to Pitt 113 



Pitt's views respectmg a new administration transmitted to the King — 
His Majesty's letter to Pitt — Pitt's replji — His interview with 
the King — Pitt undertakes the formation of a new Government, 
excluding Fox — Communications to other party chiefs — Fox's 
generous course — Lord Grenville's negative answer — Pitt receives 
the Seals — The new Cabinet — Other changes of office — Precarious 
state of the King's health 164 



Charge against Messrs. Drake and Spencer Smith — Execution of the 
Duke d'Enghien — The First Consul proclaimed Emperor of the 
French — Pitt's projected Continental alliances — Overtures of Mr. 
Livingston — Pitt's Memorandum — Wilberforce's renewed motion 
on the Slave Trade — Proclamation prohibiting the Trade in the 
conquered Colonies — Pitt's Additional Force Bill — Vote of Credit 
— Pitt's measures of Defence — Criticisms of Lord GrenvUle and 



Fox — Na^leoti*fl pUn of Invasion^ The Cai^marant — Sucooas- 
ful operations of tJie Britiali out of Europe — Battles of Aasye and 
Ai)5auin — War with Spain — Seizure of the Trt^j»ure Shijja — Pttt's 
notes on the War, Germany^ ami Napoleon ^ — Attempted reooiunlia* 
tion between the King and the Prince of Wales — Ooae of Lord 
Auckland , .. Pag© 196 


1804 — 1805. 

Uesiguation of Lord Harrowby — BeconcOiation between Pitt and 
Addington — Gommenta of Lord Camden and Bishop Tomline — 
Lord Mtilo^Tave appointed Secretary for Foreign Affairg — Canning 
proposes to retire — Addington beeomes President of the Counoil 
and Viscount Sidmouth — Letter from Napoleon to George the 
Third — Deaths of Lord Loughborough and of Archbishop Moore 
— Application from Bishop Pelhain — Parliamentary debat^^ — 
Establiflhment for the Princeae Charlotte — Pitt'a last Budget 235 



Kaval administration of Lord Melville — Tenth Report of the CotmmV 
sionera of Naval Inquiry — MiniattTial differences — Wliitbreaii's 
Besolutions — Resignation of Lord Melville — Succeeded by Sir 
CharledMiddleton f- Discussions between Pitt and Lord gidmoutli 
— The King supports Pitt —The Tenth Report referred to a Select 
Committer — Lord Melville removed from the Privy Council — 
Revival of the Roman Catholic claims — Speechoa of Gruttan and 
Pitt — Diplomatic nogotiationa — Arrival of M. de Novosiltzoff in 
London — Treaty between Russia and England — Lord Melville 
impeached — Rejection of WLitbread's motion against Pitt — Final 
resignation of LorIs Sidmouth and Buckinghamsliire — Ministerial 
arrangements — ^ The King's decay of sight 270 



on crowned King of Italy — Annexation of Genoa to France — 
ant of Lucca to the Princess Elisa — Third Coalition — Ville- 
neuve pursued by Nelson — ^ Action between Vilhmeuve and Calder 
— Villeneuve proceeds to Cadiz ^ Resentment of Napoleon — War 


waged by him against the Austrians — Nelson at Merton— Appointed 
to command the Fleet destined for Cadiz — Takes leave of Pitt — 
Arrival of Sir Arthur Wellesley from India — Pitt's fruitless repre- 
sentations to the KiDg — His last interview with Lord Sidmouth — 
Projected expedition to the north of Grermany — Surrender of Mack 
at Ulm — Its effect upon Pitt —Battle of Trafalgar, and death of 
Nelson — Pitt's last speech in public — The Duke of Wellington's 
description of him at this period — Notes of Lords Fitzharris and 
Eldon Page 317 


1805 — 1806. 

Mission of Lord Harrowby to Berlin — Pitt at Bath — His criticism 
upon Lord Mulgrave's and Mr. Canning's Poems on the Victory of 
* Trafalgar — Napoleon in Vienna — Battle of Austerlitz — Treaty of 
Presburg — Effect of the intelligence on Pitt — Anxiety of his 
friends — His illness at Putney — His last letter — His interview 
with Lord Wellesley, and his opinion of Sir Arthur — Notes of the 
Hon. James Hamilton Stanhope — Narrative of the Bishop of Lin- 
coln— Death of Pitt 350 



Embarrassment of Ministers — Meeting of Parliament — Effect of the 
intelligence of Pitt's death — New administration formed — Votes 
in the House of Commons — Parliamentary grant for the payment 
of Pitt's debts — Pensions to his nieces — His public fiineral — 
Statues and portraits — Pitt's character — His religious principles 

— Goodness to the poor — Neglect of Literature and the Fine Arts 

— Skill in classical versions . — As a public speaker — As Minister 
of the Finances — His conduct of the war — Conclusion . . 386 


Letters and Extracts of Letters from King George the Third to 
Mr. Pitt i-xxviii 

Index xxix 

<^^ • •/' / y^A-^/^w^V/'^■^J.■ 




(7h f^/on f^r''C^nftntj'^/'VcLlV.) 

Jo]iT» Ktirrfiy,.'>0.>^l>ciTiarlc5t. 1862 . 







' ^itt relmquisbea for a time his ftttendance in tbe House of CoiDmoos — 
His conference with Base — CorreapoiideDce with Lord Clxatb&m 

— Prince of Wales's Debts — Diaaenfilona with France — Interview 
of Lord Whitworth with tho Fiiat Consul — Trial of Ptltier — 
Ex}t08tf to the Corpe Ltfgislatif — ATniaments in France and Hollund 

— Energetic measured of the British Stinktry — Public anxiety 
for Pitt's return to office — Propoaai conveyed to Uiin by Lord 
Melville — Subaequent overtareB from Addingtoti — Ihaih of tbe 
Dowager Oounteas of Cbatham. 

Pitt at Walmer Castle had a return of gout, and also a 
gharji bilious attack, wliich confined him tt> bis room for 
some days. During liia retirement bu bad ample leisure 
to review the state of polities. He was more than ever 
convinced that Addington had committed some serious 
errors, both in foreign affaii's and in measures of finance. 
He knew that ho could not attend the House of Com- 
mons without being called upon to speak. He knew 
that be could not speak as he felt without damaging, 
and, perhaps, even overthrowing tbe Government On 
the other baud he could not deny that a liigh part was 
. VOL, IV, B 


incumbent upon him aa still in $ome degree the guar- 
dian of the public purse and of the national safety. 

But since the letter of Pitt, which I have inserted, of 
the close of January, other and most serious considera- 
tions pressed upon him. He learnt that the dissensions 
with France were becoming day by day ^ore dark and 
lowering. He learnt how large and inadmissible were 
the new pretensions that the First Consul had put 
forward. Would it be right then, would it be worthy 
of a high-minded politician, to run any ri^k of damaging 
or of overthrowing the Government at the very period 
when the question of Peace or War was at issue, and 
hung trembling in the scales ? It was under the influ- 
ence of these feelings that Pitt resolved to persevere in 
the course which he ha^d recently adopted. He came to 
the decision to postpone, or indeed for the time to relin- 
quish, his attendance in the House of Commons. 

It was with these sentiments^ and at this period^ that 
the followino: letters were written : — 


Mr. put to Mr. Hose. 

" Dear Rose, ** Wahaer Castle, Feb. 16, 1803. 

"The return of something like fine weather 
gives me so much occupation here, and will probably 
give me so much health, that it would alone have 
tempted me a good deal to change my plan, and 
remain here some time longer. But, besides this selfish 
reason, I am more and more persuaded, by all that I 
see of things and parties, that any part I could take at 
present, if I were in town, would be more likely to do 



harm than good; and that I am, therefore, in every 
pomt of view, better where I am* There are, however, 
many points in our situation, and particularly on the 
subject of finance, which I should have been very glad 
to talk over with you ; and if it was not proposing to you 
anything very inconvenient, it would be a great satisfac- 
tion to me, if (whenever you are released from youi' 
Southampton Bill, or anything else you wish to attend) 
you could spare a few days to let me have the pleasure 
of seeing you here. According to my present notion, I 
should not be likely, if I can help it, to move from 
hence for some weeks. I am now quite free both from 
gout and bile, and am gaining strength every day. The 
picture from my windows this morning is as delightful 
as in the middle of summer. 

•* Ever sincerely yours, 

Bose did accoiTlingly repair to Walmer, and remained 
there several day a In his journal he notes : " Anxious 
as I was before I came here for lilr. Pitt's attendance in 
Parliament, I am a convert to the reasons which under 
a choice of very great difficulties incline him to remain 
in the country.** 

Mr, Pitt to Lord Chatham, 

" Walmer Castle, Feb. 24, 1803. 
" My dear Brother, 

" Lord Camden tells me you were desirous of 
knowing whether I was yet coming to town. I have 
not hitherto fixed in my own mind any precise time, 
and I find so much benefit during this fine weather from 

B 2 

4 iilPE OF PITT. Chap. XXXIV. 

air and exercise here, that I wish to prolong my stay as 
much as I can ; the more so, to say the truth, as I 
could hardly be in town without attending the House, 
and I do not see, in the present state of things, any 
advantage that would arise from the statement of my 
opinions. The subject of finance is, perhaps, one on 
which I may feel it impossible to avoid taking a part, 
unless measures should be brought forward in the course 
of the Session very different from anything I can expect 
either from Addington's printed speech, or from what I 
have since heard of his intentions. The line I must 
take in this respect will, however, very much depend on 
the nature of his final Budget for the year, which I 
suppose will hardly be brought on till after Easter. I 
should like much to be able to explain to you fully the 
nature of my opinions, as far as I am able to form them, 
and. the grounds on which they rest; and I should cer- 
tainly be inclined to make a short visit to town for that 
purpose only, if it were not tot the reasons I have 
already given you. 

" Ever, my dear brother, &c., 


**'Walmer Castle, Sunday, 
**My dear Brother, Feb. 27, 1803. 

" The very interesting state of things you de- 
scribe, and the wish you express to see me, would be 
more than sufficient to determine me immediately to 
come for a few days to town, if by doing so I could 
have the satisfaction of talking over the subject with you 
as fully as you wish, without exposing myself to being 
drawn into consultations with others, which I really do 
not think, under the circumstances, would be fit or 


" The bent of my opinion on a goneral view of tho 
question before you, you may easUy guess. It eer- 
tainly leans strongly one way ; and if I were under the 
neeessaty of forming a decision and acting npon it, 
much as I feel the difficulties which in either event 
the countrj^ will have to encounter, I believe I should 
have little hesitation in making the option. But tlie 
propriety of any lino to be adopted is so blended with 
the consideration of the measures by which it is to be 
followed up, and with the mode of e:xe<niting them, that 
I should feel it much more difficult to judge* what it 
woidd be pnident and right for others to determine, and 
I should be ver)^ Borr\" that any weight given to my 
opinion should influence a derision so important in its 
consequences to those who are to form it, and to the 

** I can, however, have no scruple in stating to you, 
in conjidenee and for yourself only, whatever occurs to 
me. if it can give any satisfaction to your mind, or in 
the smallest degree assist you in forming your own 
judgment. I wiU therefore endeavour to write to yon 
more at large to-morrow than I should have time to do 
now, having been prevented by diffeisent interruptions 
from beginning my letter till near the time of tlie pjst 
going out* 

" Ever, my djear brother, &c., 

« W. Pitt." 

** Walmer Castle, Feb, 28, 1803. 
" My dear Brother, 

" I will now endeavour to state to you the f4iief 
considerations which proseut themselves to me on the 
important question now at issue. They ore partly 
those on which I conceive Government has hitherto 


acted in its discussions on the subject of Malta, and 
partly those which are suggested by the recent proo& of 
Bonaparte's yiews in that quarter. It must, I think, 
have been generally felt that after going as far as we 
did in concession in the preliminary and definitive 
treaties, we were peculiarly bound to insist on the full 
benefit of the articles contained in them, and that where 
they might be found not to admit of literal execution, 
we could not be expected to acquiesce in any new 
arrangement that was not at least equally advantageous 
to US. This principle was strengthened by all the 
subsequent conduct of Bonaparte since the Peace, which 
was such as on former occasions would of itself have 
been thought fresh cause of actual war, and which at 
least justified and required additional jealousy and 
precaution in settling any point which might come into 
discussion; and the reasoning applied peculiarly to 
Halta, both as it was an object in so many ways im- 
portant, and one with respect to which we had so much 
reason to suspect Bonaparte's designs. If the question 
had rested here, and, under merely these circumstances, 
Bonaparte had brought forward his present demand for 
our evacuating it before any satisfactory aixangement 
was formed for its security, such a demand would have 
appeared even then sufficiently extravagant, and such as 
we could not comply with, either honourably or safely. 
The step would seem tantamount to an absolute sur- 
render of the island into the hands of France under an 
admission that the terms stipulated by the definitive 
treaty could not be executed, and after a fruitless 
attempt by a negotiation (known to be depending for 
many months) to obtain some new security. 

^'But humiliating and disgraceful as our situation 
would have been on this supposition, the case seems 
now to be still stronger. This demand is now brought 



J forward undor rLrciimsianeee whiVb no longer leave us to 
r^as«>n about the nature of l^maparte's further intentions 
in the East, but after what I consider as a public and au- 
thentic at'count of his determination to avail himself oi' 
'the first moment in his power to regain possession both 
of Egypt and tlie Venetian Islands. I, of course, refer 
^to Sebestiani'a report. ; a state-paper which never could 
^lave been published at all, much less in the Momiteur^ 
nor ever have been left uncontradictedj if it were not 
both genuine and confoimable to Bonaparte's plans, and 
'if he did not (for some reason or other) wish to prochiim 
those plans beforehand to the world. To choose such a 
moment for urginpr his present demand appears to me 
[>nly a proof of the height to which he already eaiTJi« 
his insolence, and his hope of being able to dictate 
without resistance ; and if he succeeds in this attempt, 
it is impossible to doubt that he will proceed to reahze 
the designs which he has announced. We must there- 
fore expect, if we now concede to him, to be obliged in a 
bort time afterwards to acquiesce in his seizure both of 
£gypt and the Seven Islands, and in all the dangers 
wiiich would result from it ; or we must then embark in 
tlie contest, having in the interval, witli our eyes open, 
consented to abandon the best means of security for 
ourselves, and of annoyance to the enemy. On this 
view of the subject I certainly can hartUy avoid conclud- 
ing that immediate and certain war would be a less 
evil than such disgracefiJ and dangerous concession. 

** I do not, however, hold it as certain that w ar wotdd 
be the necessary consequence. There may be still some 
chance that a vigorous and firm line adopted by Govern- 
ment., if aided by early public declarations of full sup- 
port from Parliament and the countiyj might enable us 
to carry our point without recurring to extremities. On 
this chance, however, I am by no means disposed to rely, 


though m looking to possibilities I do not put it wholly 
out of the question. In forming a decision I should 
wish to consider the alternative as concessioli or imme- 
diate war. I have already stated the chief arguments 
which weigh with me against concession. For it, I 
conceive little can be urged but on a supposition of the 
impossibility, or at least the diflSculty and uncertainty, 
of our being able now to meet the contest with ade- 
quate exertions ; and the hope that by yielding now, we 
may be better prepared for it before it becomes abso- 
lutely unavoidable. I confess myself that I could not 
rest much on Hie hope of our being comparatively better 
prepared, as, if we encourage the enemy by our acqui- 
escence at present, I fear we shall be driven to fight for 
«onie vital interest, or, perhaps, for our independence, 
within a shorter interval liian could enable us to gain in 
point of resources anything that would at all counter- 
balance the fresh advantages which will have been 
obtained by France. 

" With respect, however, to oar present means, I own 
tiiat I feel great anxiety. After the large establish- 
ments of this year, and so many months for extra- 
ordinary preparation, I cannot help hoping that in 
point of military and naval force we should begin the 
war in more strength than we have done on any former 
occasion. The greatest object of my anxiety is our 
finance, on which everything must so much depend. I 
do not, however, after fall reflection, doubt the suffici- 
ency of the counlay to provide for the expenses of 
seven or ten years of war without imposing burdens 
that would materially entrench on the comforts of 
the great body of the people, or ultimately affect our 
prosperity ipid credit But I am convinced this can 
only be done by meeting at once the whole extent of 
our difficulties, and by raising within the year a still 




larger proportion of the suppliers than was done even fn 
the last four years of the lute war. On thin plan I havt' 
no doubt that taxes may be found to answer all the 
, purposes I have mentioned, and to prevent an aeeiiiuu- 
iation of debt in the course of the war which must 
otherwise entail jiermanent burdeas to an amount 
greater by many luilhons* But notwithstauding the 
clear ultimate advantage and economy of such a system, 
it certainly would require, in the first instance, an 
t^xertion which at first view would startle and alurm^ 
and which cannot be effectually made without a 
firm determination on the part of Govemmentj and 
without a real sense, both in Parliament and in the 
public, of the necessity of making it. Besides the 
renewal of the Income Tax (which I fear is rendered 
more difficult than it^ first imposition), an addition of 
many millions to our permanent taxes in the verj" fii^t 
year is essential to tlie success of any such pUn as I 
refer to. The difficulty of such an undertaking I certainly 
most strongly feel. A determination on Addington's 
part to attempt it and cany it tlirough, I cannot help 
doubting, after what I have observed in his measures of 
finance in the present year; and if any less eflSeient 
system is resorted to, I certainly see httle chance of any 
advantageous or honourable issue out of the contest, 
unless any lucky accident, such as we have no right to 
count upun, should speedily terminate it in our favour. 
" On the w^hole you will see from what I have said, 
that if it is determined in the event of w^ar to make the 
exertions that appear to be necessary, and it is thought 
practicable to carry them through, I shoidd think war, 
with all its tlifficulties, preferable to acquiescence. On 
the other supposition, I hardly know how to choose 
between alternatives each so pregnant with the greatest 

mischief and dantrer. 

I have troubled you with a very 
B 3 


long detail, which I know not whether you will find at 
all useful in considering this question, but I was un- 
willing to withhold anything which has occurred to my 
own mind as material. I must only repeat my request, 
for reasons I stated yesterday, that you will consider 
what I have said as for yourself only. 

" Ever, my dear brother, &c., 

"W.P." . 

At this time Mr. Pitt had established one of his most 
constant Mends as almost his nearest neighbour. This 
was Lord Carrington, on whom, in the preceding sum- 
mer, he had bestowed the Captaincy of Deal. The two 
Castles of Deal and Walmer are only a mile apart ; and 
the new rooms constructed by Lord Carrington in 
the former, without impairing its fortified strength, 
made it, as it continues to be, a delightful sea-side 

At this time also my father, then Lord Mahon, was a 
frequent visitor at Walmer Castle. On leaving Lord 
Stanhope's house he had gone to pursue his studies at 
the German University of Erlang, or as now called 
Erlangen. He returned when he came of age, in 
December, 1802, and had at once before him some 
important and anxious business to consider with his 
lawyer, Mr. Estcourt Mr, Pitt then and ever after- 
wards showed him the most generous kindness. He 
bestowed on him the best oflBce in his gift as Lord 
Warden, the Lieutenancy of Dover Castle, which had 
annexed to it a salary of several hundred pounds a 
year, and which, though my father thought right to 




tTesipi it on succeeding to the Peerage, was usually held 
^%r life. 

Here are two selected from several lettei« addressed 
by Mr. Pitt at this time to his young relative. 

Mr. Pitt to Lord Mahofu 

*' J)rar MahoK, " Walmer Castle, Feh. 22, 1803. 

'* Tour account of the communicatioD you have 
received through Murray has given me great and 
unexpected pleasure. If Lord S. continues in the 
disposition he has expressed, it must, I think, enable 
kyou to settle your affaii's on a footing much more satis- 
factory, both for the pjresent and the future, than eoidd 
otherwise be in your power. 

" If once the business is put in a coiuTse of reference, 
I should hope you might, without inconvenience, make 
another visit to this place and initiate yourself in tlie 
mysteries of the Coiui; of Load Manage.^ I shall rejoice 
much if Lord Carrington is able to accompany you^ 
and I hope he will take up his quarters here, which he 
will find more comfortablo than going to an unin- 
habited house. You see by this proposal that I have 
no thoughts of moving from hence at present. Indeed, 
if I can escape from the call of the House, which I 
hope will not he difficulty I shall probably be tempted 
to stay here for at leant three or four weeks longer. 
The weather and the scene from my ramparts are now 
both delightful, and what no one can well form an idea 
of in the atmosphere of London. Many thanks fur 
your books, which I have great pleasure in placing in 

* The Load Manage i& or was tlie Cinque-Port Oami for the appdot- 
meiit and regulutiou of pilute. 


my library. I nrnst conclude here in order to pay my 
daily visit to my farm, which is going on mo^t pros- 
perously, though without the aid of the * Farmer's 

*^ Ever affectionately yours, 


•^ Walmer Castle, March 15, 1803. 
/* Dear Mahon, 

" Thanks to a rainy morning which stops the 
plough, I enclose at length the epistle to Madame la 

" Having made this happy beginning, I hope to go 
on paying my debts to my correspondents daily. 

" I have not yet fixed any time for leaving this place, 
and begin to hope that I may prolong my stay till 
towards the middle or latter end of ApriL I shall be 
happy to see you here again as soon as suits your other 
engagements ; but I think if you go to the Levee to- 
morrow, it would be rather better to stay over the 
Drawing-Eoom in next week. In the mean time I hope 
you will be able to make some progress with Estcourt. 
" Ev^r affectionately yours, 

.c W.Pitt." 

Meanwhile the Houses of Parliament were in active 
Session. One of the first affairs that came before the 
Q)mmons was a new debt which, after some coy demur, 
was acknowledged by the Prince of Wales. His Eoyal 
Highness had also put forward to the Government a 
claim to the arrears of the Duchy of Cornwall ^previous 

^ Of Brandenburg Bareith, who I brought over a letter from Her 
resided at Erjang. I^ord Mahon had | Serene Highness to Mr. Pitt. 




to tSs eoiniDg of age ; and wl\en Lord Castlereagh went 
to Bath, Addiugton bad sent down by bim a message 
reqnesting to know Pitt's opinion, whether it wotild V>e 
right to make a compromise upon the case- ^*My 
opinion/' said Pitt, ** inclines against a compromise. 
If the arrears are due, let them be paid. If not, the 
question of setting the Prince's income free should be 
considered separately," 

Nor was Pitt much inclined to a vote for the latter 
object. ** These debts," — so he wrote to Kt»se on the 
8th of March,—" have been contracted in the teeth of 
the last Act of Parliament, and in breach of repeated 
and positive promises.'* The Ministers, however, took 
a more indulgent view. They brought down a Royal 
Message, and induced the House of Commons to vote, 
for the dixscharge of the Prince's liabilities, the sum of 
(iO,OOU?. aimually, to be continued for three years. 

It must be owned, I think, considering the large 
debts which were from time to time annoimced, both 
on the King's and on the Prince's part., that the public 
had some right to complain of tlie result. There was 
very little of splendom* in the King's Court, and very 
little of morality in the Prince's, 

But at this time all other topics were cast into the 
shade by the growing importance of the dissensions 
with France. New groimds of complaint had been 
alleged on either side. The English were much of- 
fended at the missioUj by the First Consul, of Colonel 
Sebastiani to Egypt. His report was published in the 
Mmuteur on the 30th of January ; it contained many 
unjust aspersions upon the English army, and derJared 


that the whole people was sighing for the return of the 
French. Six thousand French troops, it was added, 
would be suflScient to conquer the country. 

On the other hand, the French might complain that 
they found us tardy in evacuating Alexandria, and un- 
willing to relinquish Malta at all. They applied to 
us on this occasion a parody on the form of oath ad* 
ministered in England, and said that they required 
" the Treaty of Aniens, the whole Treaty of Amiens, and 
nothing but the Treaty of Amiens." In answer we de-^ 
clared that we had no intention to violate the treaty, 
and no wish to misconstrue its meaning. But see what 
aggressive steps had been taken by the Government of 
France, and what ambitious schemes avowed. See 
how since the Treaty it had grasped the dominion both 
of Piedmont and of Switzerland. So long as the First 
Consul continued to add every day to his power and 
strength, we could not be expected to show any readi- 
ness in decreasing ours, and least of all in the Medi- 
terranean. We could not give up Malta without feome 
safeguards — such as were stipulated at Amiens — ^that 
the possession of it would not be inmiediately resumed 
by the Cabinet of the Tuileries. 

On this whole subject Lord Whitworth had an inter- 
view with the First Consul on 'the 18th of February. 
The conversation, or rather the monologue (for Lord 
Whitworth, as he stated, could put in very few words), 
was continued for two hours. Through nearly the 
whole of it General Bonaparte held a tone of menace 
and dictation such as English Ministers have never been 
accustomed to hear. It was language which betokened 




reat irritation on the one side, and whieli tended to 

oduce it on the other. 

As to tlie Treaty of Amiens, the First Consnl declared, 
on thifl occasion, that he must innist on its literal faltil- 
ment He would rather, he said, see us in pOBsession of 
the Faubourg St* Antoine than in possession of Malta ! 
Here is the comment of M. Thiers, who repeats the 
story from Lord Whitworth's despatch, only transferring 
the name to Montmartre : " Effnyyahk parole^ qui s'eit 
trop rdalkSe, pour le malheur de notre patrk /"^ 

In the same conTersation General Bonaparte com- 
plained anew of the libels that were published in London. 
There were two French newspapers, he added, paid by 
ns to abuse him. Every wind, he said, which blew from 
England brought him only some treah instance of our 
distrust and dislike. 

The English Government, as I have shown, had long 
since directed the prosecution of Peltier by the Attorney- 
General, but nothing had as yet ensued from it Un- 
happily the system of procrastination seems to be in- 
herent in the law of England far more than in the law 
of any other country. Peltier's case was so much de- 
layed, and the interval grew so wide between liis oflFence 
and his conviction, tliat when the latter came at last, it 
entirely failed in removing the sense of injury which 
the former had aroused. 

The trial of Peltier did not in fact come on till three 
days after the interview at the Tuileries which I have 
just related. On the 2l8t of February he appeared 

3 Histoire du ConBukt ot de TEmiure, voL iv, p. 29 S. 


before Lord Ellenborough and a special jury. The 
alleged libels were easily brought home to him. He 
was defended in a most brilliant speech by Mr. Mackin- 
tosh, afterwards Sir James ; but the jury, without a mo- 
ment's hesitation, found him Guilty. Sentence against 
him was deferred ; and from the progress of events in 
France, sentence against him in fact never was pro- 

On the very same day on which Peltier was tried in 
London, an event occurred at Paris tending in no small 
degree to widen the breach between the two countries. 
According to the practice of that period, the First Consul 
sent down to the Corps LSgislatif an annual statement 
or exposS of the affairs of the Eepublic. Of his nearest 
neighbours he allowed himself to speak as follows : — 
" The Government may say with just pride that England 
alone is unable at the present time to contend against 
France." How far this statement was well founded is 
best shown by the events of the next succeeding years. 
But whether or not well founded, there could be none 
more certain to call forth the resentment of the nation 
so slightly esteemed. 

The menacing language which General Bonaparte 
had used — both in private and in public, on the 18th 
and on the 2l8t— seemed the more momentous when 
his genius and energy of action were considered. It 
derived fresh importance also from the news that came, 
of armaments on an extensive scale preparing in the 
ports both of France and Holland. St. Domingo was 
alleged as the object, but it was natural that some ap- 
prehensions should be felt for England. Lord Chatham 




anxiously comraunjcated to Mr. Pitt the ftill details of 
the last despatches, and here is Mr. Ktt's reply :— 

** Walmer Castle, March 2, 1803. 
" Mt deab Brother, 

** I thank you very much for your letter, which I 
have just received. It k the grc*atest satisfaction to me 
i6 find that our opinions on what is pending (as indeed 
I expected they would) so nearly coincide; and that 
Government is adopting what appears to me to l>u thtj 
wisest line that the eireumstances admit. The Concurs 
own language certainly seems like the result of any- 
thing rather than settled determination or syst^^m, and is 
so incoherent and unat?cuuntable as to leave some chance 
that he may be only bullying, and that firmness here 
may lead lura to give way. But I own I rather tMnk 
that the same extravagance and passion which appears 
in his conversation will govern his conduct, and will 
hurry him into extremities, though perhaps against his 

" At all events I am sure you will agree with me, that 
we ought to be prepared for the possibility both of an 
immediate rupture and for liis foUowiug it up, or rather 
accompanying it, by attempting to strike in the first 
instance some sudden blow on any vulnerable point. 
I conclude this will be so strongly felt that no time will 
be lost in putting into immediate readiness whatever 
means we poasess. and especially those of floating de- 
fence on the coast, on which so much of our security 
against a coup de main must depend. I shall be much 
obliged to you for letting me know when anything ma- 
terial arises, which may prubably be very soon. In the 
mean time pray have the goodness to send rae one line 
saying whether our troops are likely to bo still in Alex- 
andria. I rather fear, from wliat I understand in town. 



Chap. XXXIV. 

that an order had been sent to withdraw them, which it 
will now be too late to countermand. The new syBtem 
announced to be forming for Turkey, joined to the Con- 
sul's language about that country, seems to make this 
a point of double importance. 

** I am continuing to gain ground every day that I 
stay here, which I hope to be able to do till towards 
the end of the month, when I shall probably move for 
a few weeks to BatL 

* Ever aflfectionately yours, 


Ktt, as we have seen, had strictly enjoined his brother 
not to show his letters ; but it may be doubted whether 
at this period his injunction was observed. It may be 
thought that to Addington at least his letters were pro- 
bably shown. Certain it is that when, in conversation 
on the 9th of March, Addington was asked by Lord 
Malmesbury whether the new ccmrse of vigour upon 
whidi the Government had just entered was known and 
approved by Ktt, Addington answered that it was. 
Now it does not appear that Pitt was at that time in 
correspondence with any of the Ministers except Lord 
Chatham, or that Addington could have derived his in>- 
formation from any other source.* 

Emboldened by their previous knowledge of Pitt's 
opinions, the Ministers had decided on prompt and 
energetic measures. Addington was in high' spirits. 

* Diaries of Lord Malmesbury, 
vol. iv. p. 225. In another passage 
(p. 276) Lord Malmesbury explains 
tiie matter more simply by im- 

peaching the veracity of Adding- 
ton ; an explanation which I alto- 
gether reject. 




On the morning of the 8th, when he met Lord Maimer 
bury in Hyde Park, he gaily called out to him in 
French, " Tout va bien ; v&m serez content de Twm" On 
the afternoon of the same day he carried down to the 
House of Commons a Message from the King. His 
Majesty amioimced the very considerable military pre- 
parations in the ports of France and Holland, and de- 
clared that he judged it expedient to adopt additional 
measures of precaution. 

Next day, the 9th, Addresses in reply from both 
Housee, assuring His Majesty of their loyal support, 
were moved and carried without one dissentient voice. 
On the lOth there was another Message from the King, 
with a view to call out the Militia; and on the lltli 
there was carried in the Commons a vote for ten thou- 
sand additional men in the sea-servica Thus it will be 
Bn that no energy was spared, and no time was losL 
Unhappily, however, the Message of the 8th of March 
gave most dire oflTence to the First Consul, On the 
13th Lord Whit worth went as usual to the public re* 
ception at the Tuileries. There, he says, "the First 
Consul accosted me evidently under very considerable 

agitation He immediately said, * And so you are 

determined to go to war/ * No,' I replied, ' we are too 
sensible of the advantages of peace/ 'Nous amm^^ 
said he, * deja fait la gwerre pendant quinze ows/ As he 
seemed to wait for an answer, I observed only, * C'en est 
dJja trop,^ ^MaiM^^ said he, ^V(nm vouiez la faire mccfte 
quinze am, et vmis nCtf forcezJ " Greneral Bonaparte 
made also other remarks, in a highly offended tone, 
on our alleged infraction of the treaty, "All this,** 


adds Lord Whitworth, " passed loud enough to be overr 
heard by two hundred persons who were present." 

Nevertheless the great question was by no means yet 
decided. Negotiations for some satisfactory adjustment 
of the points at issue were still pursued at Paris, with a 
diminished expectation indeed, but no diminished wish 
for peace. 

It was natural that at such a crisis the eyes of 
Englishmen should turn to their greatest living states^ 
man. It was natural that they should desire to see 
hini again at the helm. ^* Pitt's return talked of and 
wished," — so wrote Wilberforce on the 8th. Nearly in 
the same strain spoke Pitt's old enemy Philip Francis* 
On the 11th of March he expressed himself as follows 
in the House of Commons : " To the Ministers person- 
ally I have no sort of objection. For some among them I 
have great personal regard ; to none of them the smallest 
personal ill-wiU. But this is no time for compliments. 
..... The country is surrounded with diflScultie^ 
exposed to distresses, and possibly approaching a con- 
test for its existence. In this awfal situation, whether 
I advert to some who are present or to others who are 
absent, the melancholy and astonishing fact is, that out 
of the councils and government of the country, at such 
a moment as this, all the eminent abilities of England 
are excluded. In fair weather a moderate share of skiU 
may be sufficient. For the storm that seems to be 
coming, other pilots should be provided. If the ship 
sinka, we must all go down with it." 

Addington himself was by no means insensible to the 
wishes which he heard expressed around him. He saw 


tilFE or PTPT. 


the dangers that were looming in the distance. He 
saw that the time was come to invite the return of Pitt 
to office. But in the first instance he devised a middle 
course, Neither Pitt nor yet himself was to be Prime 
Minister. Pitt and Addington were to be Secretaries 
of State, with an option to Pitt, if he should prefer it, 
to he ChanceUor of the Exchequer. Above them there 
was to be a First Lord of the Treasury personally wel- 
come to^ both, and as a person fiilfiUing that condition 
Addington had thought of Lord Chatham. It was 
further contemplated among the other new arrangements, 
should they take eflfect, that L#ord St Viacent, who was 
^ filling his office very badly, and who desired to be 
I relieved from it, should be replaced at the Admiiulty 
I by Lord Melville. 

I Lord Melville himself entered into the des%n with 
■ zeal, and undertook to be the channel of its communi- 
^^^^tion. Accoi'dingly he set out for Walmer Castle, 
^^^Biiere he arrived on the morning of Sunday the 20th. 
W Some weeks later, as we shall see, Pitt related the scene 
to WUberibrce ; and in after years Wilberforce used to 
tell his friends of it as follows : '* Dundas was confiding 
in his knowledge of all Pitt's ways and feelings, and 
after dinner and port wine began cautiously to open 
mi his proposals. But he saw it would not do, and stoppt^d 
H' abruptly. * Keaily,* said Pitt, with a sly severity — and it 
was almost the only sharp thing I ever heard him say 
of any friend — ' I had not the curiosity to ask what I 
was to be.'"* 

* Life of Wilberforce, by bia Bona, vol. iii, p, 219, 


But although the eonversation might in this mcmner 
be cut short oa the first eyening, Pitt did not refuse 
next day to hear and to consider the proposals of his 
firiend. He met them, however, with a decided negative. 
His view of the whole subject is most clearly explained 
in a letter which Lord Melville wrote to Addingttm a^ 
Pitt's desire, and it may be said under his dictation. It 
has l)een published by Dean Pellew, from the original 
among Lord Sidmouth's papers; and there is also a 
copy among Mr. Pitt's. 

Lord Melville to Mr. Addmgtcvu 

" Walmer Casde, March 22, 1803. 
" My deae Sir, 

" I arrived here on Sunday, and found Mr. Pitt 
much improved in point of health. He was alone, and 
there was no interruption in conversing with him on 
the various topics touched upon in my interview with 
you on Friday last. As matter of private gratification, 
Mr. Pitt has the reverse of any wish to return to official 
situation ; and if the present adminfatration prove them- 
selves competent to carry on the government with rea- 
sonable prospect of success, and are determined after- 
wards to adhere to those leading principles of foreign 
and domestic policy which he has long considered 
essential, his wishes to be able to support them out of 
office are precisely the same they were at their first 
formation. He does not, however, disguise from me 
that many things have occurred, both in relation to 
their transactions with Foreign Powers (so far as he has 
the means of judging of them) and with regard to the 
financial operations and statements of the Treasury, 




which have given hiiii sincere conceni ; and if it were not 
under the circumstanees of the present critical moment 
of the coimtiy, he doubts how far, considering the con- 
nexion he has had for these many years with its financial 
affairs, he was at lili>erty to refrain so long from stating 
to the public the fatal errors wliich he is satisfied exist 
in the statement made with regard to the amount of the 
national revenue comparcni with the charges upon it. 
A^ things now stand, he is induced, from all these con- 
siderations, for the present at least, to adhere to the 
resolution of continuing his residence where he is, and 
refraining from taking part in the discussions of Pat^ 

^* I did not conceal from him the idea you mentioned 
of his returning to a share of the Government, with a 
person of rank and consideration at the head of it per- 
fectly agreeable to him, and I even specified tlie person 
you had named. But there was no room for any dis- 
oufision on that part of the subject, for he stated at once, 
without reserve or affectation, his feelings with regard 
to any proposition fonnded on such a basis. The un- 
certain state of his health makes him still doubt how far 
in any case he could be justified in undertaking a lead in 
public affairs, under the difficultiea now existing or ijn- 
pending. The moment of a negotiation still in suspense* 
he thinks in every view unfit for his taking part ; but 
in any event nothing could induce him to come forward 
Qxcept an urgent sense of public duty, and a distinct 
knowledge that his services (such as they may be) are 
,od and thought essential, both in the higJmt quarter 

id by all those with whom (in consequence of any 
arrangements that might be formed on that ground) 
might have to act confidentially. He is firmly of 
on that he could not, on this supposition, have 
any chance of answering his own ideas of being useful 


to the country in one of the great points on which 
he lays a principal stress, but by returning to the 
management of its finances. 

"Besides this consideration, he stated, not less 
pointedly and decidedly, his sentiments with regard to 
the absolute necessity there is in the conduct of the 
aflfairs of this country, that there should be an avowed 
and real Minister, possessing the chief weight in the 
council, and the principal place in the confidence of 
the King. In that respect there can be no rivality or 
division of power. That power must rest in the person 
generally called the First Minister, and that Minister 
ought, he thinks, to be the person at the head of the 
finances. He knows, to his own comfortable experience, 
that notwithstanding the abstract truth of that general 
proposition, it is noways incompatible with the most 
cordial concert and mutual exchange of advice and in- 
tercourse amongst the different branches of executive 
departments ; but still if it should come unfortunately 
to such a radical difference of opinion that no spirit of 
conciliation or concession can reconcile, the sentiments 
of the Minister must be allowed and understood to pre- 
vail, leaving the other members of administration to 
act as they may conceive themselves conscientiously 
called upon to act under such circumstances. During 
the last aininistration such a collision of opinion I 
believe scarcely ever happened, or, at least, was not 
such as the pairties felt themselves obliged to push to 
extremities ; but still it is possible, and the only remedy 
applicable to it is in the principle which I have ex- 

** In a conversation of two days, which involved in it 
the discussion of such a variety of topics, it is impossible 
to give you more than an abstract or very general out- 
line of the heads of our conversation. I have made it 

1803. LIFE OF PITT. 25. 

merely a recital, not intermixed with any comments, 
opinions, or suggestions of my own. You expressed a 
wish to hear from me without any delay ; and I trust 
the explanation I have given you is perfectly suflScient 
to convey to you such a view of the subject as may 
enable you to draw your own conclusions and regulate 
your own determination, 

** Yours sincerely and affectionately, 

" Melville." 

To this communication I shall subjoin another, 
written only three days afterwards : 

Mr. Pitt to Lord Chatham, 

'" Walmer Castle, March 25, 1803. 
" My deab Brother, 

" I was much obliged to you for the letter which 
Lord Melville brought me. By this time I hope you 
may have received an answer which may give some 
prospect of ending so anxious a state of suspense. I 
feel, however, with you how diflScult and delicate it may 
be to bring the discussion speedily to a satisfactory and 
decisive point, though on the other hand the danger is 
evident of allowing Bonaparte time to strengthen what- 
ever part of his preparations in Europe and abroad is 
now defective ; after which he will probably choose his 
own moment for carrying his terms (whatever they may 
then be) or going to war. Much of course must depend 
on the explanation which you can give to the public of 
the ground on which you can take your stand. 

"I do not know whether you are apprised of the 
conversation which Addington held with Lord Melville 
previous to his coming here, or have talked with the 
latter since his return. My sentiments on the subject 



are such as I could have no difficulty in stating without 
reserve, and are contained in a letter for Addington, 
which Lord MelviUe wrote from hence, and which he 
will at any time show you. I trust you will think that 
my opinions could not be different from what you will 
there find them. I am still imdecided about Bath ; but 
unless Farquhar really lays great stress on it, I think I 
am better, and I am sure I am more comfortable, where 
I aD^« " Ever affectionately yours, 


Addington had by no means expected this positive 
determination on the part of Pitt. But as a highly 
honourable man he took a self-denying course. He 
resolved that no pretensions of his own should stand in 
the way of the public good in the return of Pitt to 
office. For that object he resolved to make any sacrifice 
short of the entire dissolution of the Government. He 
applied at once to Mr. Long as a most intimate friend 
both of Pitt and himself. At his request that gentle- 
man set out for Walmer Castle, the bearer of a message 
that Mr. Addington desired to reinstate Mr. Pitt as 
Prime Minister, if in a personal interview, which he 
hoped might speedily take place, their general ideas of 
the new system should be found to coincide. 

Mr. Long arrived at Walmer on the 29th, and re- 
mained only a single night. On hearing the message 
thus conveyed, Pitt readily agreed to the interview 
proposed. He undertook to meet Addington at Bromley 
Hill on Sunday the 10th of next month. But as Mr. 
Long was getting into his chaise to return to town, he 
saw Lord Grenville drive up to the gate. To that visit 



Ackliiigton in his own mind attached no small import- 
ance. To that xhh — to the influence exerted at that 
juncture by Lord Grenville — AdJington ever afterwards 
scribed the ill-success of the negotiation which ensued,* 
Nor was Addington, I think, wrong in this conjecture. 
There is on record, and there has since been published 
under the title of ' Lord Grenville's Narrative/ a full 
statement drawn up by himself of the conversations 
which he held at Walmer.' It appears from his o^mi 
account how hostile to Addington was his hmguage, and 
how uncomjjromising was the course which he advised. 
Thus for instance — speaking in the name also of Lord 
Spencer, Sir. Windham, and liis other immediate friends 
— he said to Mr. Pitt that under the present circum- 
stances of public difficulty they might consent to sit in 
the same Cabinet with Mr. Addington and Lord Hawkes- 
bm-y. "But,** he added, *' I see very little probability 
of our agreeing to extend that acquiescence so far as to 
their holding any efficient offices of real business." It 
seems, then, that if Grenville'g negative should prevail^ 
Pitt was to declare that neither Addington, nor yet 
Hawkci^bury— ^neither the Prime Minister In iiresenti^ 
nor the Prime Jlinister as it chanced in futuro — were 
worthy of the office of a Secretary of State, which the 
first expected, and which the latter alrea«iy held ! 

Mr, Long, on his retiu-n to London, addressed to Pitt 
the following account of his further communications with 
the Ministry. 

■ Life of Lord Sid month, by ] " Slmp? the CoutJs and Cahinots 
Vmn PcUew, vol ii, p. 11 8, 1 of George lU., vol. iii. i»p. 282-290. 

c 2 


Mr, Long to Mr. Pitt 

« Dear Pitt, " Bromley Hill, April 3, 1803. 

" I am anxious to give you some account of what 
passed between Addington and myself upon my return, 
reserving details upon the whole subject till we meet. 
He seemed extremely anxious that you should not 
consider- a pending negotiation as any obstacle to 
coming forward at the present moment, but it is hardly 
necessary to say what he stated upon this subject, 
because he has since altered his opinion, and rather 
thinks the fit time would be when the negotiation is 
brought to a point either way, which (in conjunction with 
Lord Hawkesbury, Lord Castlereagh, and your brother) 
he is satisfied will be determined before you meet at 
Bromley Hill. Upon the whole question of arrange- 
ment he seemed disposed to adopt what you had autho- 
rised me to state, not as anything settled, but as a 
general idea upon the subject, but at the same time 
expressed great difficulties about Lord Hobart (none 
about Lord Pelham). He ended this part of the subject 
by saying that of course you were the best judge of 
those persons who had claims upon you, but that he 
trusted you would not decide anything upon this point 
(if the thing proceeded to that length) without also 
considering the fair pretensions of those who had claims 
upon him. I instanced Bragge, Smyth, Lord C. Spencer, 
and Wickham, as persons accidentally placed in the 
situations they held, and whom it might be necessary 
to call upon to give way : he admitted the justice of 
what I said upon all these persons, and of the possible 
necessary arrangement respecting them, but added that 
he believed the last particularly agreeable to the 
Chancellor of Ireland and the Lord Lieutenant, and also 
well qualified for his office. With respect to Lord 




Grenville, he thought it im possible t« admit him or any 
of his friends at the present moment without a marked 
degradation of himself and his colleagues, but tliat he 
eould not mean to proseribe them, or to preclude you 
frtjm taking whatever assistance you thought right at 
any future time. I then mentioned Canning and Rose : 
he said the first hatl been personally offensive to him ; 
but upon my submitting to him whether he could 
justify the suflFering even personal offence to stand in 
the way of what he had taken so mueli pains to con- 
vince me was a necessaiy public arrangement, he 
seemed very much softened open this point, and with 
respect to Rose he stated no objection. There was no 
difficulty in leaving the vacancies at the Treasury, 
provided something else was done for Broderick, ibr 
whom he had pledged himself to provide. He then 
showed me a letter from Lord St. Vincent, requesting, 
on account of his state of health, that he would find him 
a successor as soon as lie conveniently could, and ex- 
pressed a wish to send the papers which referred to the 
points upon which you desired information. It is very 
probable you may want further information u[:»ou these 
subjects, which of course you can have at Rromley HilL 
*'l saw Lord Castiereagh the next clay : very anxious 
that you should be induced to come into the proposal, 
even dm-ing negotiation, if, contrary to all appearances, 
it should be protracted. He argued the cases of war, of 
peace, and of protracted negotiation very ably, as each 
affording sufficient grounds for your placing yom-self at 
the head of the Government If we were led into war, 
no person could conduct it with effect but yourself. 
You could prevent the negotiation spiuning out to a 
disadvantageous length ; and in peace the state of parties 
was the ground upon which he urged the necessity of your 
taking the Government, Neither he nor Lord Hawkes- 



bury concealed from me the necessity of a change. Lord 
H. was of opinion Lord Grenville could not possibly 
come in under this arrangement, but seemed to think 
there would not be any difficulty at a future period. . . . 
I have made some endeavours to obtain the opinion of 
the City : as far as I have been able to ascertain it, it 
is uniform — a very strong wish that you should take the 
lead in Government, but an almost equally strong 
opinion that Grenville should be no part of it. Thornton 
gave me some strong grounds for supposing this was the 
general opinion upon both points ; but as I know how 
often people give their own opinion as the public 
opinion, only for the purpose of strengthening it, I 
receive a public opinion with some caution. At the 
same time I have heard the [same] from so many quar* 
ters, that I believe it is not mistaken ; and there is one 
point at least in which I think you will concur with me 
— that pending the negotiation it would be extremely 
prejudicial to yourself to take office with Grenville ; for 
if it ended in war, his influence would be supposed to 
have occasioned it; and things are certainly in that 
state in which it is the general wish that we should at 
least give ourselves every fair chance of preserving 


" I have only had time to scribble this as fast as I 
could since Huskisson told me he was going to Walmer. 
I hope you will find it intelligible. 

" Ever yours, 


On the 3rd of April, the same day on which Mr. Long 
wrote the letter which I have just inserted, the Dowager 
Countess of Chatham died at Burton Pynsent. So far 
as I can trace, there had been no previous illness to 
cause alarm, and her sons were not summoned to 

ftttend hen Mr, Rose, who was alone with Btr, Pitt at 
Waliner Castle, ha;^ an entry in his journal as follows : — 
*' April 8, 1808. Mr. Pitt talked a good deal to me 
respecting the death of his mother, and of feelings 
awakened by that event/' 

Of Lady Chatham it is stated by a contemporary 
writer: *'Her death is severely felt by the poor 
cottagers in the neighbourhood* During the inclement 
season her Ladyship's Ivonnty was the means of their 
verj' existence. When in health it was no uncommon 
thing to meet her in the park of Burton Pynsent during 
the coldest weather carrying a bundle containing neces- 
saries for the relief of the indigent. She has often been 
seen to enter the abode of distress with blankets, warm 
clothing, and food, which she has ordered liberally to bo 
distributed."* It is added that the only return she ever 
asked from these poor people was theu* regular attend- 
ance on Sundays in the parish church. We ore further 
told that her bounty was by no means confined to her 
own neighbourhood, but was "continually directed 
to the relief of individuals in different parts of the 
kingdom.** , 

The remains of this much respected and lamented 
lady being conveyed from Burton Pynsent to Lady 
Warren's house in Kensington Gore, were, on the 16th 
of April, interred in Westminster Abbey. They were 
placed in the same vault as those of her husband and of 
her eldest daughter. In tliat vault Mr. Pitt was subse- 
quently laid ; in that vault also the second Earl and the 
second Countess of Chatham. 

Anp. E^gi^ter, 1803, p. 384. 




Interview between Pitt and Addington — Pitt*s proposals negatived 
by the Cabinet — The King's displeasure with Pitt — Comments of 
Fox — Review of the negotiation — Ultimatum of the British Go- 
vernment rejected by the First Consul — War with France declared 
— Pitt resimies his attendance in the House of Commons — Great 
speeches of Pitt and Fox — Proposed mediation of Bussia — Tierney 
appointed Treasurer of the Navy — Proposed votes of censure — 
Canning's satirical poems — The Budget — Charles Yorke's plan for 
the defence of the country — The Military Service Bill — The 
Property Duty Bill — The Volunteers — Renewed conspiracies in 
Ireland — Murder of Lord Kil warden. 

Both to attend his mother's funeral, and to keep his 
appointment with the First Lord of the Treasury, Pitt 
set ont from Walmer Castle on the 9th of April, and 
proceeded to Bromley Hill. Next day, according to pro- 
mise, Addington appeared. A long conversation ensued. 
Pitt began by saying that if any change was to be 
made, it must be by the King's desire. He must receive, 
in the first place. His Majesty's express commands, and 
must hold himself at liberty to submit for His Majesty's 
consideration a list of persons from both the late and 
the present administration. He must also hold himself 
at liberty to communicate fully with Lord Grenville 
and Lord Spencer respecting the arrangement. And he 
must further stipulate that the arrangement should not 
^ke place till the foreign negotiation should be com- 



pletely over, and the question of pea<^e or war be 

To all these preliminaries Addington cheerfully 
agreed. But he expressed an anxious hope that Pitt 
Mould not insist on restoring Lord GrenviUe, Lord 
Spencer, and Mr. Windham to office. He could not 
forget how keen and thorough-going was the opposition 
which he had so recently encountered from them. The 
answer of Pitt on this point gave him little satisfaction. 
Nor was he much better pleased with the idea which 
Pitt threw out relating to himself. Pitt siiggested 
that Addington should accept a peerage, together with 
the Speakership of the House of Lords, The Sj)eaker- 
ship in the Lords would therefore bo disjoined from 
the office of Chancellor, but the income of it was to be 
made up to the holder of the Great Seal. Such a 
separation of Parliamentary and judicial duties had 
often been dt^ired as conducive to the public interest. 
To effect it on this occasion would be to effect a most 
wise reform. It would place Addiugton in a situation, 
not indeed of political power, but of authority and 
dignity, exactly similar to that which he had filled with 
such general applause during nearly twelve years, 

Addington, though a good deal mortified at this pro- 
posal, did not then enlarge upon it. But he again 
expressed his apprehension that the return of the 
Grenvilles would have an unfavourable effect upon the 
public mind. Finally he tx)ok his leave and returned 
to London, wishing to have time, as indeed Pitt advised 
him, to reflect on the whole plan. 

On the 11th Pitt called on Eose at his house in 

c 3 


Palace Yard, and communicated to him what had passed 
the day before. He then returned to Bromley HilL 
There, on the evening of the 12th, he received a note 
from the Prime Minister. Addington wrote that he 
desired to consult the Cabinet, and would do so the 
next day. Of his personal position he said that he 
had " insurmountable objections " to the Speakership of 
the House of Lords ; but that if the arrangement took 
effect, he would most readily and willingly sacrifice all 
pretensions of his own. Some enemies of Addington 
have looked upon this self-abnegation as only simu- 
lated ; for my part, I am persuaded that it was quite 

Addington, in the same note, proposed to go again to 
Bromley Hill on the 14th, and added, " In the mean 
time I shall entertain the hope that you may not feel it 
necessary to adhere in its full extent to the proposition 
which you have made." 

In replying to this note Pitt discouraged a second 
visit, since he said that he had nothing to add to the 
explicit statement which Addington had already heard, 
and since his opinion on that point could not admit of 

Meanwhile, on the 13th, the Cabinet met at Lord 
Chatham's house; and on the 14th Addington made 
known by letter the result to Pitt. The advice of his col- 
leagues, he said, was wholly in the negative. They felt 
— so wrote their chief — that the interests of the public 
would be injuriously affected by the declared opinions 
of some of those who were proposed to be comprehended 
in the new arrangement. To the copy which he kept 




of this lottt'T Lord Sidmouth subsequently added, in liis 
owu hand, the note, ** namely, Lord Cfrenville and Mr. 
Windham." But even without such a comment the 
allusion was abundantly clean Mr. Pitt, on the spui* of 
the moment, replied only as follows : 

" My dear Sir, " Bromley Hill, April 14, 1803. 

** I need only acknowledge the receipt of your 
letter, and am 

'^ Yours sincerely, 

« W. Pitt." 

Next day, however, it occurred to Pitt, that since the 
last proposal to him and his reply had passed only in 
private conversation, they were liable to be misappre- 
hended or misconstrued* He therefore wrote again, 
and at some length, to BIr, Addington, not at all — and 
this he was carefiil to explain — as seeking to renew tlie 
late negotiation, wliich, on the contrary, he said he 
considered "now finally and absolutely closed,*' but 
only as desiring to recapitulate and place beyond dis- 
pute its principal points. Addington replied at length, 
and some further con'espondence, in part of a con- 
troversial kind, ensued between them. 

Mr. Pitt, after attending his mother's funeral on the 
loth, had remained in town two days. On the IStli he 
dined at the Bishop of Lincoln's, where he met only Mr. 
Kose. He proceeded to pass a day with Lord Grenville 
at Dropmore, and then one or two with Ijord Carrington 
at High Wycombe, It was from Wycombe, and on the 
21st, that he wrote again to Mr. Addington, in rejoinder 
to the last communication. 


Politicians of all shades were now eager for some 
statement of what had passed. The accounts which 
I Pitt gave on the one part, and Addington gave on the 
other, were found to differ in some of the details. 
These were of slight importance, and as Lord Macaulay 
well observes, by no means such as to imply any in- 
tentional violation of truth on either side. For, as 
Lord Macaulay goes on to say, such a dispute often 
arises after negotiations conducted by word of mouth, 
even when the negotiators are men of the strictest 

The two statesmen were, however, much incensed 
against each other. The progress of their alienation 
may be traced even in the forms of their correspondence. 
At the beginning of the year Pitt had always subscribed 
himseK to Addington "Yours affectionately." From 
Bromley Hill it was "Yours sincerely;" and from 
Wycombe Abbey it grew to be " Dear Sir, your faith- 
ful and obedient servant." In his replies Addington 
always acted Regis ad exemplar — that is, exactly con- 
formed in this respect to the varying precedents of 

It was not till the 20th of the month that Mr. Ad- 
dington stated, in any manner, the transaction to the 
King. This was at an audience after His Majesty's 
Levee. The King might well feel a little chafed at 
being no earlier consulted. But the fault of this, if any, 
was certainly with the Prime Minister. Nevertheless 
the Koyal displeasure seems to have turned wholly 

Biographies, p. 219, ed. 1860. 




against tlie retired statesman, " He desires to put the 
Crown in commission — he carries his plan of removals 
so extremely far and high that it might reach me;" 
such are the expressions recorded of George the Third 
upon this occasion. A caustic French proverb, — less 
imtnie than we might wish it to be — les absens ont 
toitJQurs tort, — may, perhaps, occur to the reader's 

The object of Mr. Pitt in his communication of the 
21st from High Wycombe, and in another subsequently, 
was to request of Addington that if he mentioned the 
matter at all to the King — as Pitt presumed that he 
must — ho would lay before His Majesty all the letters 
which had passed. This Addington promised to do, 
and did accordingly on the 27th. But the King refused 
to read the letters, or to take any notice of them. Two 
days afterwards he said to Lord I*elham, *'It is a 
foolish business from one end to the other. It was 
begun illj conducted ill, and terminated iU.''' 

The comment of Mr. Fox in his private correspond- 
ence is not a little bitter, and, as I think, not a little 
unfair to Mr. Pitt- On the 1st of April he writes thus 
to Mr. Grey : — " There is some talk of Pitt, but I be- 
lieve all idle. He knows his own insignificance, and 
does not like showing it," But the friends of Mr. Fox 
have since found it more convenient to reverse his 
gi"ound of accusation. Instead of "consciousness of 
insignificance,'* they have put it " arrogant assump- 
tion of merit,'* 

* Diaries of Lord Molmesbury, vol. iv. p. 187, 


It IS alleged, in the private journal kept by Mr. Abbot, 
that " the conduct of Mr. Pitt in the whole transaction 
is very much disapproved by Lords Melville, Chathatm, 
Castlereagh, Hawkesbury, and Mr. Steele." Of this 
sweeping statement, however, I find no confirmation in 
any of the private letters of that time ; and it is cer- 
tainly at variance with the subsequent conduct of some 
at least of the persons named. The remark of the 
Duke of York at the same period is repeated by Lord 
Malmesbury, not on hearsay or on rumour, but as 
addressed to himself : — "In my own view of th^ 
transaction, both parties were in the wrong. It has 
been so managed as to put Pitt's return to oflSce, 
though more necessary than ever, at a greater distance 
than ever." 

On reviewing this affair with no difficult calmness, 
now that the scene is wholly changed, and that all the 
actors have passed away, we may perhaps be inclined 
to reverse the Duke of York's opinion, and to say that 
both parties were in the right. Both appear to me to 
have acted with entire rectitude and honour. Both 
appear to me to have shown the most scrupulous fidelity 
to their personal friends. Pitt cannot be censured for 
his determination to submit to the King, on again be- 
coming his Prime Minister, a list of the best and ablest 
Ministry which it was in his power to form. He would 
not have fulfilled his bounden duty to his Sovereign 
had he, in commercial phrase, offered a second-rate 
article when he might have secured a first-rate. As 
little can Addington be blamed for adhering to the 
principles of his own government, and seeking to ex- 




chide from office, even on strictly public grounds, tlie 
tesmen who had bitterly opposed and reviled that 
vemment on the great question of the peace, and on 
eveiy other question during the last year and a half. 
The charges of arrogance on Pitt's side, and of duplicity 
on Addington*s, when we examine them, fall alike to 
the ground. It is clear, when we strip away the 
aceessories, and come to the bone and marrow of this 
negotiation, that it failed solely from one point — from 
the proposal of including Lord Grenville and Mr. 
Windham in the new arrangement. The upshot is 
then that in April, 1803, Pitt was unwilling to return 
to ofiBee unless it were open to him to propose to his 
Sovereign that he should return with the GrenvilJes, 
It is a fact that may deserve to be compared with the 
e regard shown by the elder Pitt to the elder Gren- 
e, tlien Earl Temple, in May, 1765. It may also 
deserve to be borne in mind when we proceed to the 
events of May, 1804, 

From Wycombe Abbey Mr. Pitt went again to 
Bromley Hill, and from Bromley paid a visit to Wil- 
derness. Thence, after some days, he returned to 
Walraer Castle. Some account of one of those days is 
supplied by Wilberforce's Diary : — ** April 24. Much 
pressed by Lord Camden to go to Wilderness, Lord 
Camden's, to meet Pitt and hear the account of the late 
negotiation. I have consented- — April 25. Set off about 
half-past two to Wilderness with Lord Camden, in his 
chiiise. To Long's, Bromley Hill. There found Pitt, 
Saw the place sweetly pretty, and with Pitt Ute-h-teU 
to Wilderness. He^ird the complete story of the lato 



Chap. XXXV. 

negotiation with Addington. Pitt's plan of defending 
the country, if war. His mind of the same superior 
cast. Did not get to dinner till almost eight o'clock. 
William Long,^ Lord Camden, Pitt, and I, chatted till 
bedtime : half-past twelve. — April 26. After breakfast, 
long discussion with Pitt. Talked about Navy's state, as 
day before. Then read loungingly and walked out. I 
fear the morning was too much wasted. ... Oh ! Lord, 
make me more transformed into thine image ! " 

On his return to Walmer Castle Mr. Pitt lived for 
some time longer in retirement, and awaited the issue 
of the negotiations with France. Let me add one of 
his letters of this period, as addressed to my father : — 

« Dear Mahon, " Walmer Castle, May 2, 1803. 

" I was obliged to write so many more letters 
than usual yesterday, that, even with the advantage of 
a rainy day, I could not find time to answer yours. 
Tour two proposed letters I return under another cover. 
They seem to me to be perfectly proper, and to want 
no alterations but the very slight ones which you will 
see I have suggested. 

" The Isis, I find, passed a few days ago through the 
Downs without stopping in her way to Spithead ; and 
the papers announce that she is to carry Gambler again 
to Newfoundland. In that case, is James to remain in 
her? A second voyage thither is not the pleasantest 
destination, but perhaps (if war does not take place) it 
is better than any other. 

" I shall be very glad to learn the result of your con- 

' The Rev. W. Long was a brother 
of Mr. Charles Long. In September, 
1804, he was named a Canon of 

Windsor on the recommendation 
of Pitt. 




sultation with Estoourt, and happy to see yon here 
whenever it suits yon* If yau foresee the time of your 
coming a day or two before, pray let me know, as pos^ 
aibly you may find Lord and Lady Melville here, and 
some other of our friends. Do not let this induce you 
to defer your visit. I only mention it because it may 
perhaps bo uei'ffisary to quarter one or two of the party 
at the Cottage. Tlie weather has been so bad that I 
have scarcely seen Leith, or any other Cinque Ports' 
oracle, to consult about a Court of Load^Ianaj^^e ; but I 
doubt whether any of the controverted points can be so 
well decided before Midsummer, I enclose a letter 
which I found here, probably (by the post-mark) from 
the Margravine. 

"Ever affectionately yours, 

The "James" whom Sir. Pitt here mentions was 
James Ilamilton Stanhope, youngest brother of Lord 
Malion. He had entered the Na\^, but conceiving a 
strong distaste* to that profession, he soon afterwards 
exchanged it for the Army, in which Charles Stanhope 
was already serving. To Wth these brothers, shut out 
from a father's care, Mr. Pitt extended a most constant 
and most generous kindness. 
Meanwhile the negotiations at Paris were tending to 
unprovsperous issue. Malta was still the main pjint 
dispute. In the course of March and April several 
ex|)edient8 on the subject were proposed in a conci* 
hatory spirit by the Englkh Government. But the 
French would be content with nothing but imuiediate 
restitution. They would not take into account either 
their own aggressive coui'se upon the Continent since 

'42 XIFE OF PITT. Chap. XXXV. 

the Treaty of Amiens, or the absence of any such 
securities for the independence of Malta as that Treaty 
contemplated. Our ultimatum was that we should 
retain possession of Malta for a period of ten years ; 
that we should then give up the island to the inhabit- 
ants, and not to the Knights ; and that as a naval 
station in the Mediterranean the neighbouring island of 
Lampedosa should be ceded to us by the King of Naples 
without opposition on the part of France. If, moreover, 
Holland should be evacuated by the French troops, and 
some stipulations be made in favour of the King of 
Sardinia and of Switzerland, England would consent to 
acknowledge the new Italian States. These terms the 
First Consul rejected. 

At this period Mr. Fox took care in his public 
speeches to express no opinion in favour of the French. 
But he was not equally reserved in his familiar corre- 
spondence. Thus in March he writes to Mr. Grey : 
"At present I am more convinced than «ver that if it is 
war, it is entirely the fault of the Ministers, and not of 
Bonaparte." Still more decisive is his language in 
June to another correspondent when he observes that 
"Addington by his folly has contrived to lay bare 
the injustice of our cause." ^ It is difficult, surely, to 
maintain that opinion in the teeth of such facts as I 
have already told. In our own time at least the ablest 
men of Fox's party have held a very diflferent view. 
Lord Macaulay considers the breach with France as 


* Correspondence, edited by Lord John RusseU, vol. iii. p. 404, and 
vol. iv. p. 9. 




reopened through the dominating ton© of the First 
Consnl, wliich he describes as ** insupportable " It grew 
clearer and clearer — he goes on to say — that a war for 
the dignity, the independence, the yery existence of cm* 
nation was at hand,* 

The uitimattmi of England being positively declined 
by France, no hope of peace remained* On the 12th of 
May Lord lATiit worth left Paris, on the 16th General 
Andi^(^ossy left London. On this last day also a Message 
from tlie King was brought down to both Houses — to 
the Peers by Lord Pelham, to the Commons by Mr. 
Addington, His Majesty announced that the negotia- 
tion with France was over, and ho appealed mth con- 
fidence to the public spirit of his brave and loyal 
snbjectg. It waa resolved to take the King*s Message 
into consideration on that day week, the 23rd. 

On the 18th there was published a Declaration of 
War in the name of the King, relating at length the 
course of the negotiation, and the grounds upon which we 
had proceeded. On the same day, by Eoyal command, 
the diplomatic papers which had passed were laid upon 
the Table in both Houses, 

A counter Declaration of War was issued on the pait 
of France. Moreover the Fkst Consul took a step which 
was unjwpular in France itsell^ and which very few 
even of his warmest partisans have since defended* In 
the terms of a Decree, issued in haste on the 22nd of 
May, several thousand imoffending English subjects 
who were quietly travelling or sojourning in the French 

BbgrapMeSt p. 217, ed, 1860. 


dominions under the faith of treaties were seized and 
thrown into prison. The plea assigned by some apolo- 
gists at Paris was that two French vessels had been ; 
captured in the Bay of Audieme in Brittany under thet i 
English letters of marque, and before the war had been \ 
duly declared. The fact is, however, that this capture ! 
did not take place till the 20th of the month, eight /'j 
days after the English ambassador had set out from ^j 
Paris. Had even the fact been otherwise, it will *! 
scarcely at present be alleged that it was suflScient to 
justify the scope of the Consul's Decree. 

The English prisoners seized on this occasion were 
for the most part detained in captivity at Verdun and 
other places during the whole remainder of the war. j 
This measure, productive as it was of great individual . i 
suffering and hardship, proved to be no less impolitic 
than it was unjust. No other in Napoleon's whole | 
career tended more in British minds to dim the lustre * 
of his glories, and to rouse against him what may be 
regarded as the main obstacle to his ultimate triumph 
in his designs of European conquest — the sturdy spirit 
of the British people. 

It was under these circumstances of renewed war and 
impending dangers that Mr. Pitt felt it his duty to 
resume without further delay his attendance in the 
House of Commons. He announced to his friends that 
he was coming up, and would take part in the discussion 
on the 23rd. " But what does he mean to say of the 
Ministers ? " asked Lord Malmesbury of Canning. " He 
means," answered Canning, ^^io fire over the heads of the 
Government — that is, not to blame or praise them, but 




to support the war iBeasurea^ and to confine bimself 
to thia." 

Mr. Pitt did come up accordingly, and took his seat 
for the first time this Parliament on the 20th* ** I have 
been a long time truant/* he said to the Hpeaker, as 
they shook hands. Tliere was a general eagerness for 
his expected speech of the 23rd, not only to learn his 
line of politics, but because there were nearly two 
hundretl new Members, as Lord Macaulay reckons, who 
had never heard him. 

The debate on the King's Message, and on the Ad- 
dress of the Commons in reply, which began on the 23rd 
of May, was eontiniied by adjournment on the nest day 
also. Those two days will ever be meraorable in our 
Parliamentary annals for the wonderful speeeh of Pitt 
I on the former, and the wonderful speech of Fox on the 
second* It is difficult to decide to which of those two 
mighty rivals on this occasion the palm of pre-eminence 
belongs. I have stilted in a former passage that the 
best judges have held this speech of Fox as one of the 
three greatest that he ever made.* If I were asked a 
similar question us to the three greatest speeches ever 
made by Pitt, I would in the first place desire to set 
aside, as in a separate class, his luminous exposi- 
tions of national finance delivered in successive years, 
and I would then presume to name his speech on the 
Fox and North coalition in February 1783, his speech 
on the Slave Trade in April 1792, and his speech on 
the renewal of the war in May 1803. 

* See vol ii. p. 142. 


With such merits in the estimation of its hearers, it 
is much to be lamented that nothing, or next to nothing, 
of this speech is left. By a mistake of the Speaker's the 
reporters were on that evening shut out from the 
gallery, so that even the very meagre report which the 
reporters of that age supplied, at this point altogether 
fails us. The Parliamentary History contains only a 
brief outline of the principal heads of argument that 
Mr. Pitt employed. Nothing then remains for us but to 
collect and compare the most authentic testimonies that 
have reached us of this renowned oration. 

Lord Malmesbury in his journal gives this account of 
the debate : — " May 24. Pitt's speech last night, the 
finest he ever made. Never was aijy speech so cheered, 
or such incessant and loud applause. It was strong in 
support of war, but he was silent as to Ministers, and 
his silence either as to blame or praise was naturally 
construed into negative censure. No one was heard 
after him, and the debate was adjourned at ten o'clock 
till to-day." 

" May 25. Fox spoke three hours last night, very 
ingenious but very mischievous. Windham answered 
him. Addington spoke very poorly." 

Mr. Abbot, whose journal, like most other journals, 
sometimes leaves out the corn and takes up the chaff, 
makes no mention at all of Pitt's great speech. He 
only tells us — as a thing of far superior interest — that 
on the 23rd Her Koyal Highness the Duchess of York 
came through his house to hear the debate, and after- 
wards returned to sup. But of Pitt's great rival he says : 
"Mr. Fox spoke from ten o'clock till one, and in these 




tliree Iiours delivered a speech of more art, eloquence, 
wit, and inisciiief, tlum I ever remember to have heard 
firom him/* 

Fox's own account of this debate will be read with 
still Ligher interest. He writes to his nephew on the 
Cth of June : ** Pitt's speech on the former day on the 
Address was admired very much, and very justly. I 
think it was the best he ever made in that style. < . * 
I dare say you have heard puffs enough of my speerli 
on the Address, so that I need not add my mite ; but 
the truth is that it was my best" 

The compliment of Fox was not paid in private only. 
In Ids own speech he had adverted to that *' of a very / 
eminent and poweTftil Member who has been nmible for/ 
a long time to give ns the benefit of his attendance. It y 
is a speech," he added, "which, if Demosthenes had been / 
present, he must have admired, and mitTjht have envied." ^ / 

These testimonies are already publishei But there 
remains another, more important than all, which has 
never yet appeared in print. Among the new Members 
returned at the General Election of 1802 was Mr. John 
William Ward, only son of Lord Ward, who at a later 
period became Earl of Dudley, and Secretary of State 
for Foreign Affairs. Even at this early period he gave 
proofs of the critical discrimination by which he was after- 
wards distinguished ; and ho luis described the speeches 
of Pitt and Fox in writing to his tutor,^at Oxford, Mr, 
Copleston, subsequently Bishop of Llandaff. I owe the 

L^^ I derive the first Bentotiee from [ and tlie secotid from tlie Mernoira 
iParL Hibt. ijiA. xxvi. jk HlOj, | of Fraiicia Huruer {vol. i. p. 221), 


communication of this most interesting letter (wlich 
Lord Macaulay also saw and has noticed) to the kind* 
ness of the present Earl of Dudley. 

/ Hon. J. W. Ward to the Rev. M CopUston. 

'' My dear Sir, " May 30, 1803. 

" .... Of the object of your inquiry, Mr. Pitt's 
speech on the 23rd, I will not say omne ignatum pro 
magnifico est, yet I am perfectly convinced that the 
circumstance of its not being made public has increased 
the general disposition to do full justice to its merits. 
More indeed than full justice appears to me to have been 
done to them, at the expense too of the author, when it 
has been said, as it has, that this was the greatest, or 
among the greatest, of his harangues. No doubt it was 
perfect as far as it went, i.e., as far as it was intended to 
go. * Bonaparte absorbing the whole power of France ;' \ 
\ * Egypt consecrated by the heroic blood that had been ' 
shed upon it ;' * the liquid fire of Jacobinical principles 
desolating the world;' the merciless sarcasms on the 
unhappy Erskine, whose speech (remarkable for inex- 
tricable confusion both of thought and expression) 
\ *was not, he presumed, designed for a complete and 
i i systematic view of the subject,' — ' the scruples of whose 
I ;' conscience he was so desirous to dispel,' — * and whose 
I i^ important suffrage he would do so much to obtain ' — 
I \ and the whole of an electrifying peroration on the 
I necessity and magnitude of our future exertions; all 
I this was as fine as anything he ever uttered. Still, 
I however, it is a sacrifice of memory and judgment to 
present impressions, to pronounce it his chef-d^oeuvre. 
It was not so comprehensive, or so various, or, what 
those who like me had rather hear him for four houn 



than ane, must be allowed to take into the account, not 
so long as Bome to which I have listeneii, and several at 
the excellence of which I have guessed tliruugli a report 
For instance, that against peace in 18G0, that for it the 
following year» that on the murder of the King of 
France, and that 8hort but beautifnl burst of eloquence 
with which he fullowe<l Slieridan (on the same side) on 
tlie oe(*asion of the IVItitiny. 

" But whatever may have been itj* comparative merits, 
its etfecta were astonishing, and, I believe, unequalled. 
Wlien he came in, whit^h he did not till after Lord 
Hawkesbury had been speaking nearly an hour, all! 
the attention of the House was withdrawn for some] 
moments from the orator and fixed on him ; and as he 
walked up to his place, his name was repeated aloud 
by many persons, for want, I imagine, of some other 
way to express their feelings. Erskine and Whitbread 
were heard with imjMtience, and when, at the end of a 
/tedious hour and a-luilf» he rose (20 min. to 8), there 
, was first a violent and almost universal cry of: Mr. Pitt I 
' Mr, Pitt ! He was then cheered before he had uttered 
a syllable, a mark of approbation which was repeated at 
almost all the brilliant passages and remarkable senti* 
ments ; and when he sat down (9) there followed 
three of the longest* most eager, and most enthusiastic 
bursts of applause I ever heard in any place on any 
occasion. As far as I observe d, however, it was con- 
fined to the Parliamentary Hear him ! Hear him ! but 
it is possible that the exclamations in the body of the 
House might liave hindered me from hearing the 
apping of hands in the gallery. This wonderful 
[itatiou, you will readily perceive, it would not be 
Tair to ascribe wholly to the superiority of his eloquence 
mi that particular ccamon — he was applauded belbre he 
8f oke, which is alone a sufficient proof. Much must be 



attributed to his return at such an awful moment to an 
assembly which he had been accustomed to rule, from 
which he had been long absent, and in which he had 
not left a successor ; some little perhaps to his ad- 
dressing a new Parliament in which there were many 
members by whom he had never or rarely been heard^ 
and whose curiosity must of course have been raised to 
the highest pitch. 

" His physical powers are, I am seriously concerned 
to remark, perceptibly impaired. He exhibits strong 
marks of bad health. Though his voice has not lost any 
of its depth and harmony, his lungs seem to labour in 
those prodigious sentences which he once thundered 
forth without eflfort, and which (to borrow a phrase from 
your favourite metaphysician Monboddo) other men have 
* neither the understanding to form nor the vigour to utter.' 

" Fox's speech on the following evening was, I think, 
a far greater eflfort of mind. It was much the best I 
ever heard from him, and stands immediately next to 
the greatest among those of his antagonist. It was 
free from his usual and lamentable fault of repetition. 
Every one seemed to agree that he outdid himselt 
Fortunately it has not shared the fate of Pitt's, though 
two sides of the Morning Chronicle cannot give a very 
complete idea of this wonderful piece of wit and argu- 
ment, which took near three hours in delivering. Don't 
imagine that from this accidental superiority in one 
instance, I mean to draw any inference as to the com- 
parative talents of the men. I believe it arose merely 
from the diflferent ground on which circumstances in- 
duced them to stand. Pitt taking professedly a very 
narrow. Fox a very wide field, the genius of the one 
was circumscribed, the other had room to display all 

his resources 

" Yours most sincerely, 

"J. W. Wabd." 

1803. LIFE OF PITT. 51 

Among the strangers in the gallery that evening was 
Mr. William Dacres Adams, who next year became 
Private Secretary to Mr. Ktt. Turning to his next 
neighbour he most happily applied to Pitt, on this occa- 
sion, some lines from Pope's * Homer,' which describe 
the reappearance of Achilles in the field, and which are 
derived from two separate passages of the poem. 

*' Heroes, transported by the well known sound, 
Frequent and full the great assembly crown'd, 
Studious to see that terror of the plain, 
Long lost to battle, shine in arms again. 
Dreadful he stood in front of all his host : 
Pale Troy beheld, and seem'd already lost." 

It is to be observed that in^ these debates the course 
of the two great orators was by no means the same. 
Pitt supported the Address. Fox was in favour of an 
Amendment which Grey had already moved. The 
main gist of his speech was to palliate on many points, 
although in guarded terms, the policy of the French 
Government, and to point out how, with moderation, 
peace might yet be preserved. In his course, besides 
his usual small band of followers, he found some un- 
expected allies. Wilberforce, on the first night, had 
risen when Pitt sat down. His speech had been faintly 
heard amidst the buzz of applause and comments which 
ensued ; but he had earnestly argued against the con- 
duct of the Ministers in the late negotiation. Malta, 
he thought, should have been surrendered in com- 
pliance with the letter of the treaty, notwithstanding 
all the infractions of its spirit. Several other Members 

\ncurred in the same view. Yet, combining with Fox's 
B 2 


friends in the division, they mustered only 67, while 
for the Address there appeared 398. In the Lords a 
similar Address was carried by 142 against 10. 

Three days later, that is on the 27th, Mr. Fox brought 
forward a motion giving effect to an idea which he had 
already thrown out. He moved an Address to the King 
to accept the mediation of Eussia. Lord Hawkesbury, 
in strong terms, expressed the objections of the Govern- 
ment. Then Pitt rose, the third speaker in this debate. 
He declared himself quite in favour of Fox's scheme. 
" Whether," he said, " for a season of war or of peace — 
whether in the view of giving energy to our arms, or 
security to our repose — ^whether in the view of prevent- 
ing war by negotiation, or restoring peace after war 
has broken out — it is the duty of tlie Ministers of this 
country to avail themselves of the good offices of Powers 
with whom it must be the interest of this country to be 
united in alliance." The opinion of Pitt gave the 
debate entirely a new aspect. Lord Hawkesbury 
assured the House that the Government was ready to 
accept the mediation of Eussia, upon which Mr. Fox 
consented to withdraw his motion. The comment of 
Lord Malmesbury is as follows : " This measure is per- 
haps a right one, though much may be said against it ; 
but it is a Cabinet, not a Parliamentary measure, and 
Ministers, by suffering it to originate in Parliament, 
and from the Opposition Bench, betray weakness, and 
authorize a new and most dangerous precedent." 

This desired mediation came to no result. Matters 
had already gone too far. On the 27th of May, the 
very day of this debate in the Commons, was issued the 




Order of the First Consul to arrest and detain all 
English subjects travelling in France. Moreover Count 
Woronzow, the Russian ambassador in England, bad no 
confidence in Mr. Addington, Only a few days later Le 
said in conversation : " Si ee Minkthre dure^ la Qrande 
Bretagne ne durera pas!* 

The tdienation between Pitt and Addington was at 
tliis time complete* A further token of it, as the public 
thought, appeared on the Ist of June, when a new 
Writ was moved for Southwark, JIi*. Tierney having 
been appointed Treasurer of the Navy* ** This,*' Lonl 
Malmesbury observes, '* seems to be an indication of 
Pitt never taking office any more,'* — office he meant in 
that administration. It will be remembered that there 
had been not only political hostility of the keenest 
kind between Pitt and Tierney, but also a personal 

By this arrangement Addington exj>ected to be able 
to spare Lord Hawkesbury from the IIouso of Commons, 
and to summon lum by wTit to the House of Peers, 
where, on the Government side, some additional strength 
was greatly needed 

A question of a party character was now impending. 
Colonel Peter Patten, member for Newton in Lanca- 
shire, had given notice of a Vote of Censure for the 3rd 
of J une. It was to condemn tlie Ministers for their 
alleged remissness and want of vigilance proious to 
the declaration of war. The Ministers would have de- 
sired a moderate vote of justification on their conduct ; 
but Pitt, when spoken to, would not hear of such a 
scheme, *' It is throwing down the gauntlet," ho said. 


But wliile unable to commend, he was equally unwilling 
to censure. He deemed it wiser to look forward instead 
of backward ; and he determined, instead of joining in 
the vote, to move on it the previous question, or the 
Orders of the Day. 

Great efforts were made by some common friends to 
induce Addington to content himself with such a course ; 
but Addington, with high spirit, steadily refused. When 
therefore, on the 3rd, Colonel Patten did bring on his 
motion — ^when some minor speakers had addressed the 
House — and when Mr. Thomas Grenville, who followed 
them, had denounced the Government for two hours in 
a speech of great ability — ^the Prime Minister rose next. 
He conjured the House, in a most earnest tone, to pro- 
ceed to their final vote of condemnation or acquittal, 
that Ministers might know whether they were to stand 
or fall. 

Then Pitt rose. He declared that he could not agree 
to the censure, nor yet would say that the Minister was 
free from blame. He would not discuss the question 
itself, but would move to put it by, and proceed to the 
Orders of the Day. Instead of driving out of oflBce, by 
a vote. Ministers whom the Crown still honoured with 
its confidence, and causing a hazardous and probably 
long interval of suspense with such an enemy before us, ,. 
he would rather advise the House to devote their whole 
exertions to the military and financial defence of the 

On the other hand, others of the Ministry — Lord 
Hawkesbury, Lord Castlereagh, and the Master of the 
Bolls, Sir William Grant — all pressed for instant deci- 



aion, contending that Mr. Pitt's motion impHod the very 
f^ensure which it professed to avoid. Lord llawkesbnry, 
who spoke next after Pitt, wns espointilly applauded, 
" He answered him extraordinarily well," says Fox, 
" showing both a proper spirit of resistance and a 
proper spirit at being compelled to use it against an 
old friend. It was far the best speecli he ever made," ** 
Mr. Canning rose, as he declared, with feelings of tho 
deepest pain. He must join with Colonel Patten. 
'' Fur the first time in my life," he said, " I find myself 
compelled to difler from my Right Hon. friend." 

It was a strange jumble of parties, and so the divi- 
sion showed it. The Ministers, the Grenvilles. and the 
Foxites voted together against the motion of Mr. Pitt, 
and it was rejected by 333 members against only 56. 
Upon this Mr. Pitt and most of his friends went out of 
the House. Mr* Fox rose to declare that on the main 
question he would not vote either way. Ho could not 
approve the conduct of the Ministers, but would take no 
step for their removal, since he thought that their suc- 
cessors might be less |iaeific than they. So saying he 
walked away, followed by Sheridan and his principal 
friends. Then the Vote of Censure being put, the num- 
bers were as follows : — 

Yeas ...,,.... 275 
Noes ...,,...• 34 

• Correspondence, Qditcd by Lord 
John EuBjioll, vol. iii. p. 223. To 
Pitt's speech on tlda occaaii>n Pox 
rel'ers in the same letter with con- 

Biderable acrimony. *' Both the 
Bnbsttmee aud manner were as bad 
as liis worst enemy cotild wish." 


In this division Earl Temple and Mr. Canning were the 
Tellers against the Government. We learn from a con- 
fidential letter of Mr. Fox to his nephew, that in taking 
the course he did he acted directly against his own 
opinion. Immediately afterwards he went out of town 
^ for good." ' Grey was gone already. 

These large, nay immense, majorities on a great 
party trial of strength were of course a signal triumph 
to the Government, and seemed to establish it firmly. 
To no one did the result afford greater satisfaction than 
to the King. His note to the Prime Minister next 
morning shows how completely at this period His Ma- 
jesty was estranged from Mr. Ktt : — 

'* June 4, 1803. 

"The King feels much pleasure on receiving Mr. 
Addington's account, that on Mr. Pitt's motion for the 
Order of the Day the Ayes were but 58 to 335,^ and 
on Mr. Patten's motion for a censure, the Ayes were 36, 
Noes 277 ; as these events prove the real sense of the 
House of Commons, and that Parliament truly means 
support to the Executive Power, not to faction. 

" George K." 

The result was, in a party sense, very damaging to 
Mr. Pitt. The small minority of 54, with the addition 
of the two Tellers and of Mr. Canning, seemed to mea- 
sure exactly his Parliamentary strength at this time. 
Considering his high renown in his seclusion, and the 
warm applause with which he had been greeted on the 

' Correspondence, edited by Lord John HusseU, vol. iii. pp. 222 and 224. 
* The TeUers are here included. 




first night of his reappearance, it had been tliought tliat 
he could csrrry with him a much greater number in any 
vote that he might move ; but the middle course which 
he had taken between contending and exasperated par- 
ties was, as middle courses are apt to be, distasteful 
to the House of Commons, We find Fox, in a private 
letter, descant with natural exultation on the defeat of 
his ancient rival ; and, adverting to Pitt's great effort 
on the 23rd, Fox adds, ** The contrast between the re- 
ception of that speech and of his last was perhaps the 
strongest ever known." * 

Pitt himself was not chafed. He talked of the matter 
very calmly to Lord Malraesbury* who called upon him 
one morning as he sat at breakfast, '' Perhaps/* he 
said, "it was not good generalship- I was aware of 
this, and of the sort of talk and blame to which it would 
give rise. Yet I had considered it over and over again 
before I determined what to do. * . , My plan is not to 
take any retrospective view — to be silent as to all that 
is past ; but not so as to prospective measures. The 
situation of the country is so serious that over these I 
must most carefully watt*h, I will not oppose idly and 
vexatiously. On the contrary, my general line will be 
support. But I sliall oppose most decidodlvt and with 
all my power, any weak or pernicious half-measures — 
any uueqiial to the pressure of the moment.'* 

Ill the liords a Vote of Censure, in the same words as 
by Colonel Patten, had been moved by Earl Fitzwilliam 
on the 2nd of June. Both Lord Grenville and Lord 

• To Lord Holland, Jtrne 6. 1803. 

D 3 

68 lilFE OP PITT. Chap. XXXV; 

Carnarvon spoke with energy against the Government. 
Lord Mulgrave, acting on the views of Mr. Pitt, and de- 
claring that he thought the present time improper for 
such discussions, moved an adjournment of the House. 
In this course he was supported by Lord Melville, but 
they were defeated by 106 votes to 18. 

On the 6th of June, and in a less full House, the de- 
bate on the main question was renewed ; and the Gro- 
vemment prevailed by 86 against 17. Thus, in the 
Peers as in the Commons, the ascendency of Mr. 
Addington was clearly for the time established. 

Of all Pitt's personal adherents, at this time out of 
oflSce, Mr. Canning, as we have seen, was the only one 
who persisted in voting with Colonel Patten on the 3rd 
of June. For some time past, indeed, he had declared 
against the Ministers open war. For some time past he 
had given to his satirical temper full rein. Light pieces 
of poetry, some distinguished by their talent, and all 
directed against Addington, proceeded from his pen 
into print. Several of these may deserve to be still 
remembered. Here is one entitled * Moderate Men and 
Moderate Measures.' It thus commences : — 

" Praise to plaoeless proud ability 
Let the prudent Muse disclaim ; 
And sing the statesman — all civility — 
"Whom moderate talents raise to fame. 

Splendid talents are deceiving, 
Tend to counsels much too bold ; 
Moderate men we prize, believing 
All that glitters is not gold." 




id tlien follow some jests, rather too broad, susrgesteJ 
the nickname of ** the Doctxir," and applied to the 
practices of the medical profession. 

Here is another — an ** Ode to the Doctor " himself. 
It condemns him above all for the pailial favour (Imt 
was not Lord Chatham*s a still stronger case?) whic*h 
had led him to promote bis brother Mr, Hiley Addington 
and his brother-in-law Mr. Charles Bragge* He had 
raised both these gentlemen to the rank of Pri\y 
Councillors, He had named the one joint Paymaster of 
the Forces, and the other Treasurer of the Navy. On 
the other hand they were expected to strain their 
lungs in his defence. 

" When the faltering periods lag, 
Or the House receives them drily. 
Cheer, oh cheer him, brother Bra^e ! 
Cheer, oh cheer hira, brother Hiley ! 

Each a gentleman at large, 
Lodged and fed at public charge, 
Paying, with a grace to charm ye, 
This the fleet, aod that the array. 

Brother Bragge and brother Hiley, 
Cheer him I when he speaks so vilely ; 
(Jheer him I when his audience flag. 
Brother Hiley, brother Bragge." 

Another sally of witj more doubt fnlly ascribed to Mr* 
Canning, was written when block-houses were in pro* 
gross to fortify the approaches of the Thames, 

** If hhcks can from danger deliver. 

Two places are safe from the French : 
The one is the mouth of the river, 
The other the Treasury Bench." 


Best of all, perhaps, is a couplet in which Canning 
compares the ability of the two Prime Ministera accord- 
ing to a nile-of-three sum. 

'* Pitt is to Addington 
As London to Paddington." 

It is worth while to note in this year, 1803, the 
opposite complaints against two statesmen destined to 
become a few yeai*s later the main rivals in the House 
of Commons. Mr. Canning was justly accused of im- 
prudent and impetuous ardour; while, on the other 
hand, an icy reserve might be imputed to Lord Castle- 
reagh. " As for my friend Lord Castlereagh, he is so 
cold that nothing can warm him" — so writes the 
Marquis Comwallis.^ Such is only part of the contrast 
that might be drawn through life between these two 
eminent men. Yet in one most amiable feeling, shown 
in many signal instances, they entirely concurred — in a 
kindly and affectionate attachment to their friends. It 
was a feeling that glowed no less beneath the satirical 
vein of Canning than beneath the stately demeanour of 

Meanwhile the measures of the Session were in active 
progress. On the 6th of June the Army Estimates 
came on. Both Pitf and Windham spoke, and nearly 
to the same effect. Pitt assented to the principle of a 
new and fui-ther levy beyond the regular establishment ; 
at the same time he said care must be taken that the 
number of Militia should not bear too large a proportion 
to the whole of our force. A war that should be solely 

3 Tq General Ross, November 3, 1803* 




► defensive would be, in his opinion, both dishonoiiraWa 
ad niiiious. He urged expedition, and proffered him- 
If as ready to associate with others in sLaring the 
oblaqny of harsh measures of defence and finance at 
, Buch a crisis.* 

On the 10th there was passed without opposition, and 
almost without remark, a vote for forty thousand addi- 
tional seamen. That day also Mr* Pitt saw the outline 
of the proposed Budget, wliit*h Steele eoramnnioated to 
lliim. lie said that the magnitude of the supplies to bo 
used within tlie year exceeded his expectations, and 
fully met his wishes. 

On the 13t1i, accordingly. Add ington brought forward 
his Budget in a speech of two hours. He had that very 
momiug negotiated a loan of twelve millions upon 
favourable terms. To provide for the further expenses 
which the large armaments required, lie proposed, in 
the first place, an increase in the duties of excise, to 
augment the revenue by six milHons. Secondly, he 
asked a renewal of the Property Tax, to be fixed at a 
lower rate, namely, five per cent, but applied to a 
mder range, and estimated to produce four millions and 
a half. Next day, on the Report of the Budget, there 
was a desultor}*" debate of three hours^ but with a geneml 
approbation of the plan, Mr, Pitt diil not speak. He 
had strong doubts as to the new plan for the Property 
Tax, but desired to reserve himself until it should be 
embodied as a Bill, and clearly brouglit before theIIonsc\ 
On the 17th there was a Message from the King 

* For tills gpee^ili cnm^iare tlie f p. 157R, with T.ord ColciieBter's 
Piurliamcutary UUtory, vol. xxxvi. | Diary, v^L i. p. i27. 


announcing the renewal of war with the Batavian 
Eepublic; and on the 18th another Message, recom- 
mending that a large additional force should be forth- 
with raised. In pursuance of this last recommendation, 
Mr. Charles Yorke, as Secretary at War, rose on the 
20th to submit his plan relative to the defence of the 
country. Keferring to the promise of a descent on 
England which the First Consul had lately made to 
divers bodies of men in France, he dared the enemy to 
attempt it. They would find the passage of the British 
Channel far more tremendous than that of the infernal 
river which the poet had described : 

" Fata obstant, trisiisque pains inamabilis undS. 
AUigat, et novies Styx interfusa coercet." 

To carry out this classical design Mr. Yorke proposed 
that an Army of Eeserve, consisting of fifty thousand 
men, should be raised by ballot to serve four years. 
We have already, he said, seventy-three thousand men 
in the Militia, and good oflBcers for them are not to be 
foimd in suflScient number. 

Mr. Windham, who rose next, appears to have been 
much pleased with the poetical imagery — so nearly in 
his own style — which Mr. Yorke had used. " Sir," he 
said, " the Eight Hon. Gentleman introduced this mea- 
sure in a manner perfectly suitable to the solemnity of 
the occasion. I wish the measure itself had been 
equally suitable to the manner of its introduction." 
Windham then proceeded with his usual ingenuity to 
set forth a great number of objections, and declare his 
strong preference of regular troops. Yet he was not 



always very steady in liis views. On a subsequent day 

he *' recommended a Vendeau rising m masse as a better 
mode of repelling invaaioii than the means which the 
present Bill held forth." » 

Pitt, on the other hand, gave the measure his full 
support. He summed np the question as follows : *' It 
appears to me to be essentially necessary that a large 
force should be raised as speedily as possible ; and I do 
not know any other measure likely to be more eftectnal 
for this purpose." Such was also the feeling of the 
House at large. The Bill was passed rapidly and with* 
out any division- 

Not so favourable to the Mim'sters was the course of 
Mr. Pitt on the 13th of July, when their " Property 
Duty Bill," as it was called^ came to be considered. On 
that day his sentiments were expressefl at considerable 
length. In the first place he defended his ow^n, the old 
Income Tax* ** It was adopted at a time when the 
gloom of despondency hung over the minds of the most 
firm* and when fear and apprehension were to be found 
among the most loyal. But what were the consequences 
of this much abused measure ? Why, that subsequently 
to its adoption the spirit of the country grew up with 
rapidity and vigour; its triumphs extended, its good 
fortune as it were revived. As to the Bill now before 
us, there are many of its provisions of which I strongly 
disapprove. The modes of disposing of capital should 
not be interfered with through the operation of a partial 
tax tending to encourage the application of that capital 

* Purl. Hist, vdL aautvi. p. 1623. 


to one mode in preference to another. Those modes 
are various. One man likes to employ liis capital in a 
business which requires great labour, and from which 
he expects proportionate profits. Another seeks to 
derive large profits from his capital in great risks. A 
third chooses to indulge in idleness, and to enjoy a 
small profit in security. Any attempt to meddle in 
a legislative measure with this, the usual and spon- 
taneous distribution of property, would be highly unjust, 
and tend to violate the very character of an Income 

" It is proposed in the Bill before us to make various 
abatements to persons having annual incomes not ex- 
ceeding 150?. ; and all under 60Z. a-year to be entirely 
discharged from this tax. From this exemption, how- 
ever, the landed proprietors and the receivers of interest 
from the Firnds are excluded. I cannot conceive the 
grounds upon which this exclusion rests. Certainly, as 
regards th^ Funds, it is a breach of the principle upon 
which loans have been contracted, and what eflfecta 
such an innovation is likely to have upon any future 

loan I will not pretend to say Why should 

persons of humble revenue in the Funds and in laud be 
made the sacrifices of this singular difference, while 
those of superior revenue are left quite untouched? 
.... But, above all, I deprecate the proposed regula- 
tion as inconsistent with national good faith, and as 
calculated to strike the first blow against that credit for 
which the country has been so long distinguished." 

In pursuance of the opinion thus wisely deduced from 
sound first principles Pitt moved an Instruction to the 




Committee that the proposed exemptions and abate- 
menta shoukl apply to all classes of property alike. 

Some doubts were expressed as to the form of the 
Instruction. Pitt cited a precedent in point, \^hich 
Eose had suggested to him from the Journals of the 
year 1721, and the question was debated both ou the 
form and on the substance. According to the Speaker's 
account, '* words of considerable asperity, or rather 
language in a tone of great asperity, passed from Mr. 
Pitt towards Mr, Addington in these discussions." • 
Addington stoutly defended his own proposal, and in 
the division he prevailed by a large majority. For 
Pitt's motion there were but 50 votes, and against 
it 150* 

But see here the inborn ascendency of genius. Adding- 
ton, although he had conquered in the division, felt him* 
self beat in the debate. He could not venture to let his 
Bill go forth to the country with such arguments and 
such authority agninst it. On the very next day, the 
14th of July, he came down to the House to renounce 
his victory, to disavow his followers, and to make those 
^ery alterations which Pitt had pressed. 

\Vho, it might be aske:l, was at this juncture the real 
and effective Minister of England? The triumph to 
Pitt was perhaps even greater than that of the 23rd of 

On the 18th the Commons had before them another 
measure for the public defence. It was called the 
Military Service Bill, and introduced by Mr, Yorke, 

66 LIFE OP PITT. ' Chap. XXXV^ 

The object was to bring into form and shape the great 
national movement, now in progress, of the Volunteers. 
With this view the Bill gave powers for the enrolment 
and assembling of all men between the ages of seventeen 
and fifty-five, who were capable of serving; and for 
their being exercised and drilled. It was a good 
measure as far as it went, but it did not go very far. 
Some months later, in private conversation, Pitt spoke 
of it as " a flimsy Bill." "^ At the time, however, he 
declared his intention to support it. So did Windham. 
So did also Fox, who came up on purpose from St 
Ann's. But all three charged the Ministers with in- 
excusable delay in not bringing it forward sooner. 

The sole demur, if demur it were, to the measure, 
came from Sir Francis Burdett. He said that the 
only way to give spirit and energy to the people, and 
to make the country worth defending, was to repeal 
every Act passed siuce the accession of the present 

In the Committee, however, some doubts arose. 
There was a clause which provided for exercising the 
Volunteers on Sundays after service ; and against this 
clause Wilberforce loudly protested. He tells us, in 
his Diary, that "Pitt spoke of it as not contrary to 
English Church principles." Finally, there was some 
modification, but no withdrawal, of the clause ; or, in 
Wilberforce's words, " we got the Bill mended, though 
not cured." 

On a subsequent day. Colonel Craufurd having 

' Conversation with Lord MalmeBbury, February 19, 1804. 




pressed for a more extensive measure of defence, Mr. 
Pitt spoke at length in approbation of that idea. And 
here again I may quote from Willjerforce*8 Diary. 
" Pitt supported Craufiird, and discovered great military 
genius. His speech capital — tu-ging precautions, and 
yet animating," 

It w as in this speech that Pitt declared himself aa 
clearly in favour of defensive works for London, **But 
we are told," he sjxid, " tbat we ought not to fortify 
London because our ancestors did not fortify it. ^Vhy, 
Sir, that is no argument, unless you can show me tbat 
our ancestors were in tbe same situation that we are. 
We might as well be told that, because our ancestors 
fought with arrows and with lances, we ought to use 
them now ; and that we ought to consider shields and 
corselets as affording a secure defence against musketry 
and artillery. If the fortification of the capital can add 
to the security of the country, I think it ought to be 
done. If, by the erection of works sucli as I am recom- 
mending, you can delay the progress of the enemy for 
three days, it may make the difierence between tlae 
safety and the duj^truction of the capital. It will not, 
I admit, make a difference between the conquest and 
the independence of the country, for that will not 
depend upon one nor upon ten battles ; but it may make 
the difference between the loss of thousands of lives, 
with misery, havoc, and desolation spread over the 
country on one hand— or, on the other, of frustrating 
the efforts, of confounding the exertions, and of chastis- 
ing the insolence of the enemy," 

In another production of Wilberforce— a letter to his 


friend in Dorsetshire — we find the course of public 
business at this period well described. 

Mr. Wilierforce to Mr, Bankes, 
** My dear Bankes, " London, Aug. 11, 1803. 

" I forget exactly when you left London, but I 
think it was just about the time of the Income Tax 
Bill. We got through it much in the same way as 
through many of a similar sort ; and the same rapid 
manufacture of clauses, which had done such honour to 
the industry of our friend Rose, was seen to proceed 
with equal celerity in the hands of his successor Van* 
sittart To be sure, when one sees how Acts of Parlia* 
ment are made, one almost wonders they are half as 
correct, or rather incorrect, as they are. 

" The Army of Reserve Bill passed. Pitt attended 
constantly; in the main behaving well, but once, I 
understand, when I did not happen to be present, saying 
something towards Addington which indicated ill-nature 
and contempt. It was when Addington declared against 
taxing the future foreign purchasers of funded property, 
because it would abridge the market, and thereby 
depreciate the commodity to the old stockholders, when 
Pitt congratulated him, in the House, on the super- 
erogatory tenderness for the public faith which he so 
suddenly displayed. Pitt had been, however, before so 
far reconciled, that though I think he never called 
Addington, individually, his Honourable friend, he did 
the Ministers in general ; and Addington called him so 
frequently. Pitt communicated freely with Yorke, and 
showed him his plan for the levy en masse, pressing 
forward strongly the introduction of the scheme, and 
secretly grumbling at the dilatoriness of Ministry. At 



length he declared to me and others, that if Government 
would not move it, he himself would. Yorke then 
gave notice of it^ and it has gone through, as you see, 

" I must be very short in v^^hat remains, and I am 
sorry for it, because all I have yet said is not worth 
your reading. But from my having various matters of 
business to settle witli the different ofiBces, I have been 
much among the Ministers ; and I am grievetl to say 
that their weakness is lamentable. There is no man 
who takes such a decided lead as to command the move- 
ments of the different parts of the machine ; and the 
consequence is, that the country is now, on the 11th of 
August, utterly unprepared for the enemy, if he should 
be more timely in his preparations. Government have 
not expressed their meaning with any distinctness to 
the Lord Lieutenants. , , , , , In several other places 
no answers have been received to most liberal oflV-rs of 
Vobinteer service ; or there has been such delay, that 
the Volunteers have been tired with waiting, have been 
tampered with, and have withdrawn their ofl'er. . . , . , 
Sheridan fights lustily for Addington. He proposed a 
sufficiently absurd vote of thanks last night to the 
Volunteers who had so gallantly offered their services ; 
but you see clearly that the affectionate regard of 
Government to him knows no bounds in this honey- 
moon of their union. 

" Ever yours sincerely, 

*' W, WlLBEHFOnCE," 

Another, and though less detailed, not less interesting 
account of our politics at this tirae^ is comprised in a 
confidential letter which Lord Grenville addressed to 
the Governor General of India, In this letter, which 
bears date July 12j 1SU3, Grenville observes : *' It gives 


me great pleasure to see that, while my difference with 
Addington becomes every day more marked, all the 
motives which made Pitt and me differ in opinion and 
conduct daily decrease. We have not, however, yet 
been able to assimilate completely our plans of political 
conduct. Our situation, indeed, in one essential point 
of view, is entirely different. Though he did not re- 
commend Addington to his present employment (and, 
indeed, who is there that knows him would have done 
it?), he nevertheless gave him a certain portion of 
influence, more active than my opinion would have 
permitted me to grant, in the formation of the new 
administration. He advised their measures a long time 
after I had ceased to have any intercourse with them. 

If he has written to you (which he certainly 

must have done, had he not contracted the bad habit 
of never writing to any one), he must have expressed to 
you, I am persuaded, all these sentiments without 

The fate of this letter was certainly strange. On its 
way to Lord Wellesley the ship which bore it, the 
" Admiral Aplin," was captured by the French in the 
Indian seas. With some other private correspondence 
it was then, by order of the Government of France, 
translated and published in the Moniteur at a later 
period, the 16th of September, 1804. Thence it was, 
imder the disadvantage, of course, of a double transla- 
tion, reproduced in the English newspapers.® Lord 

* It will be found at full length | p. 116. See also Adolphus's His- 
in the Annual Register for 1804, | tory, vol. vii. p. 754. 




GrenTille Lad thus llio mortification to fiod his confi- 
dential statements to a personal friend prematuroly, 
and withont his consent^ given forth to the world. 
My father told me that he chanced to be with Mr. { 
Pitt when this publication took place, and on their f 
coming to the passage where the ** bad habit of never 
writing" is referred to, Mr. Pitt said drily, **I think 
Grenville will now acknowledge that I was in the right 
of it!" 

The Session was still in progress, and the month of 
July had not yet passed, when there came what Lord 
Gi'enville, in another letter, truly calls •* dreadful news 
from Ireland." A new conspiracy had been planned ; 
a new murder had been perpetrated. The prime mover 
of the first was a Protestant gentleman of Dublin, 
Ilobert Emmett ; his father a physician in much prac- 
tice ; himself a young man of great ability. His eldc?r 
brother, Thomas Addis Emmett* had been forward 
among the Irish leaders of " the *98,'* and subsequently 
had been no less forward among the Irish exiles. With 
most, of these, as also with several friends in the Govern- 
ment of Prance, Robert Emmett held frequent confer^ 
ence at Paris and at Brussels through the whole of 
1801* Returning to DubUn towards the close of the 
next year, he applied himself to knit together once 
again the broken meshes of rebellion. The renewal of 
the war between England and France was an event of 
course highly favourable to his views. By him and by 
his brother chiefs proclamations were composed ; arms 
and amraumtion were purchased. It was intended to 
muster some anned bands, and to make an attack on 



three principal points — the Pigeon-House, the Castle, 
and the Artillery Barracks at Island Bridge.* 

The plot was still in progress, when, on the 16th of 
July, there ensued the accidental explosion of a gun- 
powder magazine which they had formed in Patrick 
Street. The alarm which this produced, and the chance 
of some consequent disclosures, impelled the conspirators 
prematurely into action. They fixed the rising of the 
people in Dublin for the evening of Saturday the 23rd. 
Some secret intelligence did reach the Government 
early that same afternoon, but no prompt measures were 
adopted. It was natural that subsequently the Gro- 
vernment should be charged as having shown neither 
vigilance nor vigour. A great deal of recrimination 
followed between the Earl of Hardwicke, Lord Lieu- 
tenant, and General Fox, brother of the celebrated 
statesman, who was at this time Commander of the 
Forces in Ireland. 

Through the whole afternoon small parties of men 
were observed to come in from Palmerstown and other 
places, and to gather in the neighbourhood of Thomas 
Street, close to which was one of the secret depots of 
arms. By nine o'clock in the evening there might be 
four hundred assembled. Pikes and a few blunderbusses 
were then distributed among them from the depot ; and 
some of the leaders appearing, urged them to proceed 
at once to attack the Castle. For so bold a step they 
were not, it seems, fully prepared. Instead of keeping 

• See Emmett's own account, I inserted in Howeirs State Trials, 
first published by Mr. Curran, and | vol. xxviii. p. 1178. 




in one raain Iw^dy, tliey fell again into separate parties. 
One of these unhappily met the coach of Lord Kil- 
warden, Cliiof Justice of the King's Bench, who had 
been at his country seat, five miles from Dnbliii, and 
was returning in all haste, having been apprised by ex- 
press of the threatening appearances. In the carriage 
with him were his daughter and his nephew, the liev. 
Arthur Wolfe. The venerable Judge was dragged out, 
and, in si)ite of his cries for mercy, was in humanly 
butchered with pikes. His mangled body bore the 
trace of no less than thirty wounds. His nephew, who 
had already escaped to some distance, was met by 
another party ac^l killed in the same manner. To JMiss 
Wolfe, on the contrary, a touch of compassion was 
iowiL She was protected from harm, it is said, by two 
of the rebel chiefs on horseback ; and through their in- 
terposition made her way to the Castle, where she was 
almost the fii*st to bring the tidings of her father s fall. 

After these and some other deeds of blood, several of 
the insurgent bands formed tliemselves again into one 
mass, and collected in High Street T;\'ith the apparent 
intention of attacking the Castle. By this time, how- 
ever, the military were in motion. Parties of soldiers 
and policemen advanced against the rebels, and, after 
some volleys, entirely dispersed them. In theii* retreat 
they were enabled to carry off their dead and wounded ; 
but then* leaders now concealed themselves or fled, and 
no attempt was made to renew the insurrection. By the 
vigilant search of the police on the next ensiling days, 
the secret depots of arms were brought to light. In one 
alone there were several thousand heads of pikes. There 



were machines made of planks and set with spikes — 
a favour designed for the feet of the cavaby horses. | 
There were also magnificent uniforms in green and gold J 
for the Generals that were to be. • • 

No sooner did the events of the 23rd at Dublin be- 
come known to the Government in England than a 
Message from the King upon them was sent down to 
both Houses. .Addresses in reply were unanimously 
voted. Then the Prime Minister rose to bring in a Bill 
enabling the Lord Lieutenant to try at once, by Court 
Martial, all persons taken in rebellion, and to suspend 
the Habeas Corpus Act in Ireland. The operation of 
the Act was limited to six weeks after the commence- 
ment of the next Session of Parliament, and it was 
pressed through all its stages with the utmost despatch. 

Shortly afterwards Major Sirr, the same oflScer so 
active in the arrest of Lord Edward Fitzgerald, dis- 
covered Kobert Emmett in a hiding-place in the county 
of Wicklow, and carried him back to Dublin. Emmett 
delivered an eloquent speech upon his trial, but could 
make no effectual defence, and met his fate with un- 
shaken constancy and courage. Nineteen other pri- 
soners who had taken part in the Dublin insurrection 
were brought to trial in the months of August and Sep- 
tember. One was acquitted, and one was pardoned; 
the rest, like Emmett, underwent the extreme sentence 
of the law. | 

At nearly the close of these trials, we find them 
summed up as follows by Mr. Wickham, the Secretary 
for teland, in writing to the Speaker, who was his inti- 
mate friend : — " So much for our civil proceedings, 


1803. LIFE OF PITT. 75 

which will ensure the peace of the country, if the 

i • French do not come. But if they do, and in force, God 

: help us ! Be assured we are not prepared to meet them. 

\i Do not cite me for this opinion; I have given it over 

and over again in the strongest manner a qui de droit'' ^ 

From the exigency of public business, the Session of 

Parliament had been prolonged to a date most unusual 

at that period. Not until the 12th of August did the 

King close it by a Speech from the Throne. " It is 

painful to me," said His Majesty, " to reflect that the 

means of necessary exertion cannot be provided without 

a heavy pressure upon my faithful people." 

* Letter dated Dublin Castle, Sept. 22, 1803, and appended to the 
Colchester Piary. 

E 2 




Occupation of Hanfvet by the French — Preparations of the First 
Consul for invading England — M. Thiers's account of the terror ' 
inspired by them — The Volunteers — Pitt's Cinque Port Regiment 
— State of his health — Reminiscences of his conversation — Lady 
Hester Stanhope — Pitt's tour of inspection — Controversy carried 
on in pamphlets — Conduct of Government respecting the defence 
of the country — Pitt's gun-boats — Grand Volunteer Reviews in 
Hyde Park — Ministerial changes, and Parliamentary recruits — 
Pitt's Speech on the Volunteers — Volunteer Exemption Bill — 
State of the Navy. 

On the renewal of the war between France and Eng- 
land, the First Consul, without an hour's delay, turned 
his whole mind to the vigorous prosecution of the con- 
test. He would not allow, as the German Princes 
^claimed, that the Electorate of Hanover, as part of their 
" Holy Eoman Empire," should maintain its convenient 
neutrality. On the contrary, he sent a force of twenty- 
five thousand men under General Mortier, not only to 
reduce as was easy, but to hold and occupy that country. 
He drew large revenues from the dependent Eepublic of 
Italy. He imposed a monthly subsidy on the scarcely 
less dependent Kingdom of Spain. He devoted to his 
warlike preparations the sum of fifty-four millions of 
francs, which he had received in ready money from the 
United States, as part price for the province of Louisiana, 
which he had ceded to them. And above all he ap- 




pealed — ^and who ever appeiJed in vain? — to tbe military 
ardour of tho Ancieiine France. 

The scheme upon which all the energies of the Yir&t 
Consul seemed at this time to be centred was an inva- 
sion of England on the most gigantic scale. The camp 
along the heights of Boulogne was sometimes animated 
by hk presence, and constantly directed by his genius. 
There a hundred thousand men, all excellent troops, were 
arrayed in sight of the English shores. Fifty thoiisiind 
more, equally prepared for action, were spread over the 
coast of France, old and new, from Brest to Antwerp. 
There were the men who had* contended ^vith the Mama- 
lukes at the foot of the PjTamids, or with the Enssians 
along the pfisses of the Alps. There were the recent 
victors of Marengo, and the coming victors of Auster- 
litz. A small part of this vast force, to be embarked in 
the fleet at Brest, was designed for teland ; but by far 
the greater number were to muster at Boulogue, and to 
make straight for the shores before thenu London was 
to be their aim, and the First Consul himself would be 
their leader. 

The principal difficulty was of course the passage of 
the Channel- A far superior British fleet would, it was 
taken for granted, ride the sea ; but there were states of 
wind and tide when small light vessels, with the aid of 
oars, might slip past unmolested by the men-of-war. 
With this view there was devised a system of flat- 
bottomed boats for the ti*aDsport of troops. Other boata 
of a different kind would serve for horses and artillery. 
It was calculated that to convey so vast an armament, 
even two thousand boats would not suffice; but the 



plans for them being once approved, their construction 
was immediately begun. It was hoped that by the 
close of autumn they might be completed and ready for 
the enterprise. 

Of the boats thus put in requisition, about one thou- 
sand were to be constructed in the neighbouring ports, 
and then to be brought round to the central station ; 
but more than twelve hundred were in progress at the 
central station itself. There the clangour of the ship- 
builders in never-ceasing activity mingled with the 
measured tread or the martial music of the soldiers. 
Even Xerxes, from the coast of Attica, did not in truth 
gaze on so mighty an armament as Napoleon might 
then contemplate from the clife of Boulogne. 

'* A king sate on the rocky brow 
That looks o'er sea-bom Salamis, 
And ships by thousands lay below, 
And men in nations — all were his ! *' 

A full account of these enormous preparations has 
been given by an eloquent and able historian of our own 
day — Monsieur Thiers. He goes on to say that at the 
first tidings of them in their entire magnitude a shud- 
dering affright — un frisson de terreur — ran through 
every rank in . England — dans toutes. les classes de la 
7iation} I know not on what testimonies M. Thiers has 
here relied. For my own part I have discovered none 
in support of this frisson de terreur. So far as I have 
seen them, the most trustworthy records point to a very 

1 Histoire du Consulat et de TEm- I adds, however, " Ce iCetait pas la 
pire, vol. iv. p. 504. M. Thiers | une preuve de manque de courage.'* 



different coucluBioru Tliey represent tLe Ent^lisli people 
as not rashly underraluiiig either the genius or the re- 
sources of the great chief opposed to thorn, but as 
steadily determined, by all human efforts, to meet and 
overcome them. Not merely, as I have ehowTi iu au 
earlier passage, were all the votes for national defence 
most cheerfully accorded by the representatives of the 
people in Parliament Not merely was the navy re- 
solved, if any exertions coiJd achieve it, to repel the 
invaders in mid-sea. Not merely was the army resolved 
to confi*ont them, if it must be so, on our native shores. 
But chiefly and above all, there arose in 1803, as in 
1860, the indomitable spirit of the Volunteers. Men of 
all ranks or creeds or classes pressed forward, eager to 
have arms and be enrolled. We may indeed say of 
both periods, as Sir Walter Scott has well said of the 
former, that " it is remarkable how the good sense and 
firmness of the people supplied almost all deficiencies 
of inexperience." Those men who were unable to ser\ e 
in person were most willing to contribute in purse. No- 
where, perhaps, is there a more striking description of 
that sti-ong and fervid impulse than is drawn by the 
same admirable master of fiction, who here, however, is 
dealing with no fiction, but with a national movement 
which he saw and which he shai'ed. In his novel of 
* The Antiquary ' he relates how Bailie Littlejohn of 
Fairport and his brother magistrates were beset by tlie 
quartermasters of the diflerent corjis for billets for their 
men and horses. " Let ns/' said the Bailie, ** take the 
' horses into oiu' warehouses, and the men into our par- 
' lours — share our supper with the one, and our forage 




Chap. XXXVI. 

with the other. We have made ourselves wealthy under 
a free and paternal government, and now is the time to 
show we know its value." 

In July, 1803, as I have already related, the Grovem- 
ment brought in a measure, scarcely adequate to the 
emergency, for the regulation of the Volunteers. A 
Circular Letter from Lord Hobart to the Lords Lieu- 
tenant, tending to discourage, and even in some cases 
to reject, their offers, gave them much offence ; but 
their energy and spirit rose superior to all Ministerial 
defects. Even before the close of summer it was calcu- 
lated that upwards of three hundred thousand had been 
accepted and enrolled.* 

Of those who did good service at this trying period, 
Mr. Pitt was among the foremost. The course which 
he took will best appear from a letter which the Secre- 
tary of State addressed to him : — 

Lord Hobart to Mr. Pitt 

" My DEAB Sir, " Downing Street, Aug. 3, 1803. 

" I must request of you to have the goodness to 
send me officially the offer for raising a corps of Volun- 
teers within the Cinque Ports, of which you proposed to 
take the command, dated upon the day on which you 
privately made the communication to me, as there will 
in that case be no difficulty in my signifying His Ma- 
jesty's acceptance of it upon, the terms contained in the 
enclosed papers ; and in order to save time, it would be 

2 This is the number stated by 
Addington himself in writing to 
his brother, August 30, 1803. See 

his Life, by Dean Pellew, vol. ii. 
p. 226. 




advisable that you should speeiiyt in tlio first instance, 
the number of which you projx)se that the corps should 
consist, and the names of the officers, 

" I have the honour, &c., 

•' HOBART.'* 

Mr. Pitt did write accordingly in full detail, dating 
his eommiuiication on the day of his verbal ofler— 
namely, Jidy 27, 1803, That letter is now preserved 
in the State Paper Office,^ 

On his retiirn to Walmer Castle, when the Session 
had closed, Pitt appHed himself at once to cany out his 
scheme. By great activity and energy he had very soon 
on foot an excellent regiment of Volunteers, divided 
into thi-ee battalions, and numbering three thousand 
men. He was constantly seen on horseback, and in full 
Volunteer unifonn as the Colonel in chief, exercising 
and reviewing his men. It was acknowledged on all 
hands, that as, from the circmnstances of the coa^i, Pitt 
held the post of principal danger, so he set the most 
conspicuous example of zeal for the national defence. 
"Pitt is doing great things as Lord Warden," writes 
IVilberforce to Mnncaster* Even the caustic Peter 
Pindar, until then his most constant detractor, was moved 
to some words that may almofit amount to praise : — - 

** Come the Consid whenever ho will — 

And he means it when Neptune is calmer — 

Pitt will send him a d hitter pill 

From his fortress the Castle of Walmer !"^ 

3 It vfill 1x3 found in vol, vVi, of 
the class * Internal Defence/ 1803. 
In Jane, ISGI, u copy wtis sent me 

by Lord Herbert of Lea. 

^ Peter Pindar^s Works, vol. v. 
p. 188, ed. IS J 2. 

E 3 


l^A ,^^.^ of Pitt a. thi. «„e h. W„«d 
C^ by tradition. It seems that one battalion which he was 
forming, or in the formation of which he was consulted, 
did not show the same readiness as distinguished the 
rest. Their draft Knles which they sent to Ktt were 
full of cautions and reserves. The words "except in 
the case of actual invasion " were constantly occurring. 
At length came a clause that at no time, and on no 
account whatever, were they to be sent out of the 
country. Pitt here lost patience, and taking up his 
pen, he wrote opposite to that clause in the draft the 
same words as he had read in the preceding, " except in y 
the case of actual invasion 1 " '"vJ 

/ Notwithstanding the great energy and activity which 
Mr. Pitt evinced in forming his Cinque Port Volunteers, 
there is no doubt that his strength of constitution was 
at this time not a little impaired. So it had been for 
several years, most probably ever since his great illness 
in 1797. One main sign of this was the change in his 
morning hours, which I have elsewhere related. To 
the same cause we may ascribe his growing disincli- 
nation to employ himself in private correspondence. 
Pitt, in his letter to my father of March, 1803, alludes 
to this himself in a good humoured strain. Lord 
Grenville, in a letter to Lord Wellesley of July, 1803, 
says of Pitt, as we have seen, that he had " contracted 
the bad habit of never writing to any one." That this 
was a great exaggeration is clear, even from the nu- 
merous insertions in my present volume. But it is not 
to be denied that at this time, and subsequently to the 
close of his life, Mr. Pitt often delayed his answers to 

1803. LIFE OP PITT. 83 

merely private letters, and sometimes failed to answer 
them at alL 

At this period my fether, through the constant kind- 
ness of Mr. Pitt, was frequently his guest, both at 
Walmer Castle and in town. Many years afterwards, 
by the aid of an excellent memory, he put on paper 
a few reminiscences of his great kinsman. Some of 
these, not already made use of in the course of my 
narrative, may perhaps at this place be most conve- 
niently inserted. 

Meminiscences of Mr. Pitt. 

" He was a most agreeable and amiable as well as a 
most interesting companion, and had a vast fund of 
anecdotes, which he narrated admirably, and with 
much power of mimicry. His conversation was very 
lively and cheerful, and he preferred it to that of a 
graver character, for which reason the friends with 
whom he liked most to associate were those who had a 
similar disposition. Amongst their number were Charles 
Long (afterwards Lord Famborough), J. C. Villiers 
(afterwards Lord Clarendon), General Phipps, Sir Alex- 
ander Hope, and Ferguson of Pitfour, who was often the 
subject of his good humoured raillery." 

Literrupting for a moment the course of these short 
Beminiscences, I would remark that Ferguson of Pit- 
four was, in his day, a well-known humorist, and often 
figured in Lord Sidmouth's stories. Here is one which 
Dean Pellew has preserved. One day Ferguson with 
several other Members was dining in the cofifee-room of 



Chap. XXXVI. 

the House of Commons, when some one ran in to tell 
them that Mr. Pitt was on his legs. Every one prepared 
to leave the table except Ferguson, who remained 
quietly seated. "What!" said they, "won't you go 
to hear Mr. Pitt?"— "No," he replied; "why should I? 
Do you think Mr. Pitt would go to hear me ? " — " But 
indeed I would," said Mr. Pitt, when the circumstance 
was related to him.* 

Reminiscmcea of Mr. Pitt continued. 

"He thought Abbadie's work on the Christian 
Keligion ^ was the best he had read on that subject. 

"He said with respect to the public letters of Lord 
Bolingbroke, which were published in two 4to. volumes, 
* They convey to me a much higher opinion of his poli- 
tical talents than any of his other works.' 

" Gil Bias he considered the best of aU novels. 

" My father had asked Lord Chatham to what cir- 
cumstance he ascribed his successes in the Seven Years' 
W&r ? to which the other very modestly replied, * To 
my obtaining accurate information respecting the places 
which I intended to attack.' I mentioned this to Mr. 
Pitt, who said, * Whatever may have been the case in my 

* Life of Lord Sidmouth, vol. i. 
p. 153. 

fi The work here referred to — 
Traite de la Verity de la Religion 
Chretienne — is comprised in two 
volumes, and first appeared at Eot- 
terdam in 1684. A Roman Catholic 

theologian, the Abbe Houteville 
(as cited in the Biographia Bri- 
tannicd), says of it : — ** Of all the 
treatises in defence of the Christian 
Faith which have been published 
by Protestants, the most eminent is 
that written by M. Abbadie." 




father s time, I found it very difficult to acquire such 

" It was said of Lord Chatham's eloquence by Mr. 
Pitt, ia conversing with me, 'There was much light 
and shade in my father's speeches ;' and he added, ' they 
were very incorrectly reported,' 

"Mr. Pitt said to me of Lord Buckingham that he 
had * the condescension of pride*' " 

It was, I believe, in the course of this montli of 
August that lli\ Pitt made a great alteration in his 
household. Lady Hester Stanhope on her return from 
the Continent with Mr. and 3L-s. Egerton found her 
grandmother at Burton Pynsent no more. Estranged 
as she had been from her father, she was then at a loss 
for a home. Of her two uncles, Lord Chatham, since 
the death of the Dowager Countess, had taken the 
charge of another and an orphan niece, Miss Eliot, 
There remained to Lady Hester only the hope of !Mr. 
Pitt, But the hope founded on his generous temper 
was at once fulfilled. He welcomed his niece to his 
house as her permanent abode. Henceforth she sat at 
the head of his table, and ajssisted him in doing the 
honours to his guests. 

At this time Major-General Edmund Phipps was a 
visitor for some days at AValmer Castle, and he an- 
nounced the event amongst other news in ^\rriting to his 
brother, Lord Mulgrave. We find Lord Mnlgrave re- 
mark in reply : " How amiable it is of Pitt to take com- 
passion on poor Lady Hester Stanhope, and that in a 




way which must break in upon his habits of life I He 
is as good as he is great."' 

There is no doubt, as Lord Mulgrave here implies, 
that confirmed as Mr. Pitt was now in what may be 
called old-bachelor habits, he cannot have taken this 
step without some misgiving. He must have felt that 
he might be sacrificing or greatly hazarding his future 
comfort for the sake of a niece whom, up to that time, 
he had very seldom seen. But I rejoice to think that 
his kind act — as by a propitious order of things is 
often the ' case with such acts — brought after it its 
own reward. Lady Hester quickly formed for him a 
strong and devoted attachment, which she extended to 
his memory so long as her own life endured. On his 
part he came to regard her with almost a fiither's 

In her latter years Lady Hester Stanhope has been 
frequently described. Travellers in Palestine all sought 
to visit the recluse of Mount Lebanon. Many failed in 
gaining access to the " castled crag " where she dwelt 
alpne, and have indulged their spleen in bitter com- 
ments on one whom they never saw. Others who 
succeeded have portrayed, and, perhaps, as I may deem, 
exaggerated, the violence of her temper and the eccen- 
tricity of her opinions. But not such was the Hester 
Stanhope who, at the age of twenty-seven, became the 
inmate of her uncle's house. With considerable personal 
attractions the Lady Hester of 1803 combined a lively 

7 Letter dated York, Sept 3, I Memoirs of Mr. Robert Plumer 
1803, and published in Phipps's | V^ard, vol. i. p. 143, ed. 1850. 




flow of eonTersation, and an inborn qnickness of dis* 
cernment. Her wit was certainly even then far too 
satirical, and too little under control. She made even 
then many enemies, but she also made many friends. 
llr, Pitt was on some occasions much discomposed by 
her sprightly sallies, which did not always spare his own 
Cabinet colleagues. But on the whole her young 
presence proved to be, as it were, a light in his dwelling. 
It gave it that charm which only a female presence can 
impart It tended, as I believe, far more than his 
retmTi to power, to cheer and brighten his few — too 
few — remaining years. 

I have said tliat her wit was too unrestrained, and 
that it did not always spare IVIr. Pitt's most intimate 
friemls. Of this I will give only one instance, which I 
heard from Mr. Pitt's last surviving Private Secretary. 
It refers to the Lord Slulgrave from one of whoso 
letters I just now cited a sentence. Sixteen months 
from the date of that letter Lord Mulgrave was named 
by jMj*, Pitt Secretary of State for Foreign Aflairs, a 
post which, as some persons thought, would overtask 
his mental powers. Shortly afterwards Lord I^Iulgi-ave 
came one morning to breakfast with Mr. Pitt, and 
desiring to eat an egg, could And on the table only a 
broken egg-spoon. " How can Pitt have such a spoun as 
this?" he asked of Lady Hester. "Don't you know," 
answered the lively lady, " have you not yet discovered 
that Mr, Pitt sometimes uses very slight and weak in- 
struments to effect his ends ? '* 

In the beginning of September Mr. Pitt proceeded 
on a tour of inspection through the Cinque Ports, ac- 


companied by Major-General Phipps. He examined 
with care the divers fortifications and harbours, and 
directed the most effectual measures for national 
defence. Thus, in his hands and under the circum- 
stances of the time, did the ancient office of Lord 
Warden resume its lustre and its powers. Moreover 
at every interval of leisure Pitt was out with his 
Volunteers. On them and on him, as they all felt, 
would devolve, if the French landed, the honourable 
duty of striking the first blow. " I am uneasy at it," 
writes Wilberforce to a friend. " He does not engage 
on equal or common terms, and his spirit will lead him 
to be foremost in the battle. Yet, as it is his proper 
part, one can say nothing against it." 

On the return of Mr. Pitt to Walmer Castle, he had 
to ^consider a point in politics. A paper war was begun 
against him by some friends of the Ministry. A pam- 
phlet had come forth entitled " Cursory Kemauks upon 
the State of Parties by a Near Observer." That publi- 
cation was no doubt made so far back as the commence- 
ment of August, since we find it mentioned by Mr. 
Wilberforce on the 11th.® But it does not seem to 
have attracted much attention until the commencement 
of the ensuing month. At that time, indeed, it was, as 
I presume, new-modelled, since its Dedication bears 
the date September 5, 1803. Lord Mulgrave, writing on 
the 9th, says that he has only just received it.^ Written 
as it was with much ability, and proceeding, as was 

8 Life, by his Sons, vol. iii. p. 1 19. 

9 Phipps's Memoirs of Ward, vol. i. p. 137. 

1803* LIFE OF PITT. 89 

wlikpered, from men iu power, it very soon attaiued tt 
considemble circulation. Of two copies which 1 hiivo 
seen at the British Museuoj, one is of the ninth 

The whole tone of this pamplilet is of extreme 
asperity to Mr- Pitt. It denounces him for twu op- 
posite faults — ^for timidity in his retirement from oilice, 
and for arrogance in the negotiations designed to bring 
him back to it On the other hand, Mr, Addingtou is 
extolled as a perfect or nearly perfect statesman. But 
the tendency of the '* Near Observer " is sufficiently 
shown in a single sentence, the only one that need here 
be quoted. "I confess," he says, "that I look upon 
the attachment and deference of tlie Chancellor of llie 
Exchequer for 3Ir. Pitt as a weakness — the only one I 
have discovered in his character." 

In this pamphlet, (he recent negotiations between 
Pitt and Addingtou, thongh garbled and misstated, were 
referred to with such circumstances of detail as to be- 
token an author acquainted with tlie real facts. ** It is 
evidently written by some confidential man," says 
Wilberfbrce, Mr, Long positively ascertained that 
copies of it had been sent to several persons by 3Ir, 
Vansittart, Secretary of the Treasur)\^ It was natm'al 
to conclude, as did Pitt and all Pitt's Mends at this 
juncture, that Adding! on was in truth at the bottom of 
the whole. 

In truth, however, Addington had not been consulted. 
Subsequently, on several occasions, he declared his 

See a note tu Iloae's DiorieB, vol ii, p. 62. 


entire ignorance of this production until after it was 
published.^ Nor is there the least reason to doubt his 
word. Friends, and even relatives, had acted for him 
without his knowledge. The pamphlet had been written 
by a Mr. Bentley, to whom the facts were supplied by 
Mr. Bragge. 

With such misstatements of his conduct before hiin, 
and, above all, with such suspicions of the source from 
which these misstatements had sprung, Mr. Pitt was of 
course very much incensed. So were, likewise, all his 
friends. But Pitt's own feelings will best appear from 
a letter which he wrote at this time. 

Mr, Pitt to Lord CdstlereagK 

" Walmer Castle, Sept. 21, 1803. 
" My dear Lord, 

"I received last week your letter from Col- 
chester, and, at the same time, the papers which you 
had directed to be sent me from London, respecting the 
important question in discussion between your Board 
and the Court of Directors. 1 should always feel a 
sincere pleasure in being able to comply with any wish 
of yours ; and as far as you are immediately concerned, 
could have no hesitation in giving you the best opinion 
in my power on any point on which you could be 
desirous of receiving it ; but the decision on this ques- 
tion must, 1 conceive, necessarily be considered as a 
measure of the Government ; and in the situation in 
which I stand, especially after the injurious and offensive 
line which has been recently adopted towards me, 
apparently with the countenance at least of a leading 

2 Life, by Dean Pellew, vol. ii. p. 147. 

1803. LIFE OP PITT. 91 

part of that Government, I must feel it impossible to 
hold any private communication on any political subject 
even with those of its members to whom individually 
I am most disposed to retain every sentiment of kind- 
ness and regard. I am sure I need not apologise to 
you for having frankly assigned my reasons for request- 
ing to return the papers without any observation ; and 
if you happen to have seen a publication which has 
made its appearance since the close of the Session, and 
has been circulated with uncommon industry, you will 
not be at a loss to know what it is to which I particu- 
larly refer. Believe me, my dear Lord, with every 
personal good wish, 

" Faithfully and sincerely yours, 


To this letter no reply was for a long time returned. 

Lord Chatham was at Walmer Castle on a visit sub- 
sequently to the publication of the offensive pamphlet. 
But he never mentioned it to Mr. Pitt, nor did Mr. 
Pitt to him. The second Earl of that great name was 
well content, as it seems to me, both then and after- 
wards, placidly to float along with his friends in office. 
After the failure of Addington's overtures, there was 
little of political communication between the two 
brothers. I have found among their manuscripts no 
letter of Mr. Pitt to Lord Chatham from May, 1803, to 
the close of the following year. 

Mr. Pitt had, however, an early opportunity of con- 
sulting with some friends far more zealous for his fame 
than his brother appeared to be. He had to go to town 
on some business of the Trinity House. On the 2nd 
of October he arrived in the morning, having slept the 


night before at Lord Damley's beautiful seat, Cobham 
Park. He went at once to see Kose in Palace Yard, 
where, next day, he also met Long. AU three agreed 
that there ought to be an answer to the pamphlet. 
The question was only to whom the task should be 
committed. Several names were talked of. At last 
was suggested Mr. Thomas Peregrine Courtenay, son of 
the late Bishop of Exeter. Still a very young man, he 
was a Clerk in the Stationery OflSce, and had recently 
published a sensible essay on finance. It was decided 
that Mr. Courtenay should be asked to undertake the 
answer from the notes of Long, and under the superin-^ 
tendence of Pitt. 

On this footing then was the counter-pamphlet 
written, and a few weeks afterwards sent forth. It was 
entitled, " Plain Answer to the Misrepresentations and 
Calumnies contained in the Cursory Eemarks of a Near 
Observer. By a More Accurate Observer." Though 
exciting much interest at the time, and going through 
several editions, this pamphlet is at present very scarce. 
I have seen a copy of it at the British Museum, and 
found it to contain a clear and temperate reply to the 
various points alleged. 

Of these points there is one, and one only, that I 
desire to produce at length, because it seems to me to 
settle decisively, and once for all, the extent of the 
engagement made by the retiring Minister in February, 
1801. The "Near Observer" had asserted that there 
was " the promise given and withdrawn, on the part of 
Mr. Pitt and Lord GrenviUe, of constant, zealous, and 
active support of the present administration." 



To this the *^More Accurate Obserrer,** with authority 

from Wabnor Castle, replies as follows : — 

"]\Ir. Pitt imdoubteiUy, when he retired from ofBce, 
felt convinced that, under the circumstances of the 
period, His JFajesty had selected for his advisers 
pei'sons by whom it was proliable that the government 
of the country would be wisely and safely administered- 
He felt them, therefore^ entitled to his support, and, as 
well as Lord Grenville, gave them liis assui'ance of it. 
To give to any set of men a promise of constant sup* 
port^ let tJieir eanduct be what it wmdd, is as inconsistent 
with every idea of public duty as it certainly is with 
common sense or common honesty. Neither J^Ir. 
Pitt nor Lord Grenville ever gave, nor did Mr, 
Addington ever understand that he had received, sucJi 
a promise/* 

The pamphlet was by no means the only question 
liiscussed between tlie friends in Palace Yard, as the 
following extract from Eose's Diary will best show : — 
" We next talked of the conduct of Grovemment re- 
specting the defence of the conntrj", which appears 
daily to be more and more incomprehensible, llr, Pitt 
told me that very early after his arrival in the country 
he had an offer from the people of Deal of fifty gun- 
boats, which he immediately communicated to Govern- 
ment, and it was accepted. Convinced of the great 
utility of such a defence, he obtained from some other 
places an offer of fifty more ; but before he was regu- 
larly authorized to communicate that to the adminis- 
tration, he received a private letter from Lord Hobart, 
requesting him to get more boats if he could. Of course 


he replied to his Lordship that he had anticipated his 
wish to the extent above mentioned, and, at the same 
time, wrote to the Admiralty to beg that they would 
order the second set to be fitted; to which he received 
for answer from their Lordships, that Lord Hobart was 
taking other measures for obtaining gun-boats, to be 
equipped as well as found by the ports, besides 
which the Admiralty had no 4-pound carronades to 

" The last observation is the more extraordinary, as 
only four or five of the boats required carronades so 
small as this, and there are plenty of larger ones in 
store. After which a correspondence took place be- 
tween Mr. Pitt, Captain Essington commanding the 
Sea Fencibles at Dover, the Navy Board, and the Ad- 
miralty Board, the latter having reprimanded Captain 
Essington for encouraging the application about fitting 
the gun-boats, though he had been called upon by the 
Navy Board to state how many were required to be 
fitted ; and at this moment no orders have been given by 
the Admiralty for the purpose, but they are now daily 
expected. Mr. Pitt has in the whole one hundred and 
fifty gun-boats." 

Mr. Rose also tells us in his Diary, that on the 3rd of 
October, and by Mr. Pitt's invitation, he went with him to 
a public dinner at the London Tavern, on the swearing 
in of the officers of the Trinity House Volunteers. " The 
sight," he adds, ** was really an extremely affecting one 
— a number of gallant and exceedingly good old men, 
who had during the best part of their lives been beating 
the waves, now coming forward with the zeal and spirit 




of lads, swearing allegiance to the King, with a deter* 
mined piirijose to act manfully in his defence, and for 
the protection of the capital" 

On the morning after this dinner Mr. Pitt appears t<i 
have returned to Walraer Castle. It was not until 
subsequently that Lord Caiatlereagh wrote him a 

Lord CastUreagh to Mr, Pitt 

**' My dear Sir, " East Sheen, Oct. 6, 1803. 

" I received yom- letter when in SuSblk. I can- 
not possibly misunderstand the motives which induced 
yon to refrain from entering into any observations on 
the papers I sent you, and I trust those which led me 
to make the communication are not less obvious. I 
beg you will be assured that I am truly grateful for 
your invariable kindness to me on all occasions. 

"With reference to the publication alluded to in 
your letter, having always considered that prwluction 
as the deliberate and malicious effort of some individual 
to promote his own views through the separation of old 
friends, I very much regret not being so fortunate as 
to see you before you left toi-^Ti, as I think I coidd have 
satisfied your roind> from circumstances which inci- 
dentally fell within my ovnx knowledge, that your im- 
pressions, as applied to the person to whom they seem 
principally to refer, are without foundation. 
*■* Believe me ever, my dear Sir, 

" Most sincerely yours^ 

" Castlereagh.'* 

ie spirit of the Volunteers^ signally evinced as in 



many other places, so at the banquet of the Trinity 
House on the 2nd of October, was further animated by 
a grand review on the 26th. Then several regiments 
of these gallant men, connected with London or its 
neighbourhood, were reviewed in Hyde Park by the 
King in person./ ji second review, comprising other 
regiments from the like district, took place on the 
24th. Reckoning both days, upwards of twenty-seven 
thousand men were present under arms, and the con- 
course of spectators on the former has been estimated 
at two hundred thousand.' Many years afterwards 
Lord Eldon declared that this was, he thought, the 
finest sight that he had ever seen.* The King was in 
high health and excellent spirits. When the " Temple 
Companies" had defiled before him. His Majesty in- 
quired of Erskine, who commanded them as Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel, what was the composition of that corps. 
"They are all lawyers, Sir," said Erskine. "WTiat! 
what!" exclaimed the King, "all lawyers? all lawyers? 
CaU them the Devil's Own — call them the Devil's 
Own ! " And the Devil's Own they were called accord- 
ingly. Even at the present day this appellation has 
not wholly died away. Yet notwithstanding the Boyal 
parentage of this pleasantry, I must own that I greatly 
prefer to it another which was devised in 1860. It was 
then in contemplation to inscribe upon the banner of 
one of the legal companies, "Eetained for the De- 
fence." "^ 

3 Ann. Regist., 1803, p. 450. * Twiss*s Life of Eldon, vol. i. p. 416. 




All through October and NoFember Jlr. Pitt con- 
tinued to be busy with his Volunteers. Two of his 
familiar notes at tliis period refer, the first to the King's 
great review, and the second to one of his own : — 

Mr. Pitt to Lord Mahon, 

" Deak JIahon, " Wahner Castlo, Oct. 25, 1803. 

** I am happy to think that your labours are 
drawing to a successful conclusion, and that we are 
likely to see yon soon. Nothmg can be more kind 
and liberal than the allowance you propose for your 
brothers. The sums you mentioned of 150^. per annum 
for Charles, and 70/, for James, will, I trust, be quite 
sufficient to defi*ay all necessary expenses, and are at 
the same time not more than it is desirable they should 
receive, I flatter myself your kindness to them will be 
repaid by their progress in their professions, and their 
future success in lifa Charles is very properly glowing 
impatient to join his regiment at Ashford, and has 
therefore determined to go to town by the mail this 
evening, as tlie shortest way of completing his equip- 
ment. Lord Carrington and I are just setting out to 
one of our iiekl-days at the Isle of Thanet, whilst you 
are probably a spectator at the magnificent review iu 
Hyde Park. Lord Carrington returned your papers by 
Monday's post. 

" Adieu ! Ever affectionately yours, 


" Wabxer Castle, Tuesday, 6 p.m. 
*' Beak Mahon, 

** We settled with Colonel Cuppage to go to 
Barham Down to-morrow to see a review of horse artil- 


lery. It occurs to me that probably some of the party 
at Deal Castle mi^t like to see it also. In that case 
they must start precisely at nine, to be there at eleven. 
There is a good coach-road through Mongeham, which 
the Deal postilions of course know. Hester means to 
ride with me to Barham, but we all propose to return 
in a carriage ; and if Lady Carrington can spare us one 
of the coaches, I will order horses to be put to it, instead 
of sending over two chaises. I conclude you will choose 
to chevaucheVy escorting the ladies in the carriage. 

" Affectionately yours, 

« W. P. 

" If the day proves bad, our party is to be put off till 

It may be observed in this letter that Mr. Pitt, from 
his reading of old French books, borrows fipom them 
chevaucTier. That word is scarcely to be found in 
any of the classic writers of the reign of Louis the 
Fourteenth. The Dictionary of Furetifere, published in 
1701, mentions it as already obsolete and quite disused. 
No other has arisen in its place, and the French are 
obliged to express its meaning by the periphrasis r/umter 
h cheval. It is strange that a nation renowned among 
all others for its excellent cavalry should not have in 
its language any one word in actual use expressing "to 

It may also be observed that this letter implies a 
great intimacy between Lord Mahon and " the party at 
Deal Castle." Lord Mahon was indeed at this time 
residing with them. The legal settlements were in pro- 
gress for his marriage with Miss Catherine Lucy Smith, 


a younger daughter of Lord Carringtoi]. It was a 
custom at that time, now almost wholly passed away, 
that marriages among persons of rank should not be 
solemnized in cliurch, but rather by special licence at 
their private abode. Accordiag to this usage, the mar- 
riage in question was solemnized on the 19th of No- 
Tomber in the dining-room of Deal Castle. IVIr. Pitt, as 
a friend of both families, was present at the ceremony. 
He continued to extend a constant kindness to Lord and 
Lady Mahon, who went, in the first instance, to live 
at Maxton, two or three miles beyond Dover, Subse- 
quently Mr, Pitt placed at their disposal a small house 
of his own, " the Cottage," which he had taken for the 
convenience of his guests at the gate of his Walmer 

The meeting of Parliament had been fixed for the 
22nd of November. Previous to this there were some 
slight changes in the Ministry, Mr. Cliarles Yorke had 
been named Secretary of State at the close of the Ses- 
sion, in the room of Lord Pelham, who was transferred 
to the Duchy of Lancaster; and a week before the 
meetings another Secretary of State, Lord Hawkesburj^ 
was summoned by writ to the House of Peers. This 
gave to the Government what they greatly needed — an 
accession of strength in that assembly. As it chanced, 
a similar accession fell at the same time to the share of 
Mr. Pitt ; for the death of the first Lord Harrowby, in 
the course of the summer, transferred to the Upper 
House one of Pitt*s most able and most trusted friends, 
Mr. Dudley Ryder. 

Mr, Addington, besides hia large Ministerial phalanx, 

T 2 



Chap. XXXVI; 

continued to have hopes of some scattered individuals 
from the Opposition ranks. On Sheridan above all he 
firmly reckoned. That eminent orator, through the 
greater part of the last Session, had given to the Go- 
vernment an undisguised support Perhaps, as recol- 
lecting his earlier course, Sheridan may on some occa- 
sions have done so a little awkwardly. Once at least he 
provoked a bitter gibe on that account. "The Hon, 
gentleman," said Windham, "has this day shown all 
the zeal of a new convert in supporting administration, 
and, like a raw recruit, he has fired off his musket with' 
out ascertaining where the enemy is."*^ 

In November following Fox writes as foUows to Grey: 
*•' As to Sheridan, I think him even more gone tiiaii I had 
supposed. I dined with him one day at Brooks's, and 
another day at Lord George Cavendish's; and he 
certainly was rather run at, but he seemed to grow 
worse and worse." * 

Another recruit, or semi-recruit, was Erskine. He 
certainly continued to have hopes of some ofiScial 
appointment from the Ministry. We find him in Sep- 
tember write in confidence to Mr. Bond, one of the 
Lords of the Treasury, and hint that in certain cases he 
would much sooner support Addington than Fox. This 
letter has been found exactly where Erskine designed 
that it should go — that is, in Addington's desk.*^ 

The course of Pitt at this time will best be shown by 
some correspondence which I now subjoin. 

* Pari. Hist., vol. xxxvi. p. 1679. 
^ Memorials of Fox, vol. iii. p. 

7 See it at fuU length in Dean 
Pellew's Biography, vol. ii. p. 256. 




Mk Pitt to Mr, Boh, 

'' Dear Rose, " Walmer Castle, Nov, 10, 1803. 

"It would have given me great pleasure if I 
could have seen you here, but I am not surpriised that 
your occupations have been too constant to allow of so 
distant an excursion, especially when the defence of 
your district seems to rest almost entirely on individual 
zeal and example. As far as they can go, foilimately 
you have been able to supply them in abundance fi-om 
the circle of your own family ; but these alone cannot 
be sufficient if Government persists in such unaccount- 
able negligence and inactivity. Our state of defence is 
certainly (comparatively speaking) very complete, though 
still, in many respects, very far short of what it ought to 
have been, and what it easily might have been. 

" On the whole, I think there is good ground to expect 
that we shall be able to give a very good account of any 
force that seems likely to reach any part of this coast, 
and shall be able to prevent its penetrating into the 
interior. But if, by any accident, we were to be over- 
powered in the first instance, I am by no means satis- 
fied that any adequate force could be collected in time 
to stop the enemy's further progress till they had 
arrived much nearer the capital than we should like. 
I have been tm-ning my thoughts a good deal to the 
object of rendering the Volunteer forco throughout the 
country permanently more efficient than it seems likely 
to be (except in a few instances) under the present 
arrangements; and I will endeavour before long to 
send you a note of what occurs to me, on which I shall 
be very glad to have your opinion. 

•* Till within these two days I had persevered in the 
intention of going to town for the 22nd, but the state of 
the preparations on the opposite side, and the uncer- 


tainty from day to day whether the attempt may not 
be made immediately, make me unwilling to leave the 
coast at present. I have, therefore, nearly determined 
to give up attending the first day ; but I am still in- 
clined to think that it may be right (if I can find an 
interval of two days) to take some opportunity before 
the Eecess to notice the principal omissions on the part 
of Government in providing for our defence, and to 
suggest the measures which seem still necessary towards 
completing it I shall, of course, wish to have it under- 
stood by my friends that I shall probably attend in the 
course of the Session before Christmas, and that my 
absence on the first day proceeds entirely from my 
unwillingness to leave my duties here. Lord Camden 
(who left me this morning) and Lord Carrington are 
the only persons with whom I have had the oppor^ 
tunity of talking on this subject, and they both agree 
with me in thinking this the best plan. 

** Ever sincerely yours, 


Mr, Pitt to Mr, JRose. 

" Dear Kose, " Walmer Castle, Dec. 2, 1803. 

"I shall be so constantiy occupied all next 
week in going round to my difierent battalions, that it 
will be impossible for me to think of going to town till 
the week after ; but I hope to be at liberty on Monday 
se'nnight, and to reach town by dinner-time that day. 
I agree very much in all you say of the pamphlet, and 
I think particularly that a note,' adding a much more 
ample statement on the finance, will be very usefiil in a 
new edition. We may talk of this more when we m^t, 
which I hope will now be very soon, 

" Ever yours, 

« W. P." 




Pitt went accordingly to town- On the 9tli of De- 
cember he appeared in the House of Commons, and 
took part in the debate — the field-day, as it proved, of 
that early Session. The Army Estimates were then the 
subject, or at least the occasion, of the contest Wind- 
ham began by a most ingenious and amusing speech in 
disparagement of the Volunteers. While admitting 
their zeal, he could not rely on their exertions, and 
must place his entire dependence upon regular troops. 
" Only think," he cried. " of trying to make soldiers as 
you would make freeliolders — of giving experience and 
discipline as you would the franchise to resident inhabit- 
ants paying scot and lot I ** 

The new Secretary of State, Mr, Charles Yorke^ 
replied to Windham on the part of the Government. Then 
Pitt rose. He also, in his opening sentences, adverted 
in terms of decided difference to the remarkable speech 
of his Right Hon. friend. But some further extracts 
from his own ample statement will show the defects 
which he imputed to the Ministry in their direction of 
the Volunteer force, and the practical improvements 
which he desired to suggest. 

He began as follows ; 

" It is not my intention at present. Sir, to follow the 
example of my Eight Hon. friend (Mr. Windham) in 
taking that detailed and comprehensive view of the 
subject before the Committee ; neither is it my inten- 
tion to go into any retrospective discussion of the mea- 
sures of Government, nor to inquire whether the extra- 
ordinary means with which they were entrusted before 
the last prorogation of Parliament have been exercised 


with suflScient vigour and ability. Considering the 
danger with which the country was threatened as not 
yet past, convinced that the crisis still impends, and 
that still we have further efforts to exert, and farther 
precautions to adopt, in order to enable us to meet it, 
I am anxious to direct your attention only to such 
points as are particularly urgent, and on which delay 
would be inconvenient, if not dangerous ; and to suggest 
prospectively the consideration of those objects which 
are immediately connected with the public security. 

I am the more anxious to do this, as I have the 

misfortune to differ fundamentally from my Eight Hon. 
friend with regard to what should be the nature of that 
force to which we ought to look as a permanent source 
of safety throughout the whole of this contest, howevOT 

long may be its duration I was formerly, and 

still am, of opinion that to a regular Army alone, how* 
ever superior, however excellent — ^that to the regular 
Army, even aided by the Militia, we ought not solely to 
trust ; but that in a moment so eventful, in a crisis so 
full of danger, in a contest so singular in its character, 
and which, perhaps, may be tedious in its duration, we 
ought to superadd to the regular Army some permanent 
system of national defence, either to a certain degree 
compulsory, or formed upon the voluntary zeal and 
patriotism of the country itself. This ought to be 
resorted to as the grand source of domestic security. 
The Army must be the rallying point ; the Army must 
famish example, must afford instruction, must give us 
the principles on which that national system of defence 
must be formed, and by which the Volunteer forces of 




this country, though in a military point of Tiew inferior 
to a regular Army, would, fighting on their own soil, 
for everything dear to individuals and important to a 

BtatOy be invincible. Contemplating all these 

great and important objects, I cannot but rejoice that 

the Volunteer system has been formed I only 

wish that in the provisions which were enacted mth 
regard to its extent, the numbers had been allotted with 
some relation to the local position and peculiar danger 
of the different parts of the country ; 1 only wish that 
when it was fixed generally that the Volunteer foi*ce 
might be six times the number of the Militia, a greater 
proportion had been assigned, or a facility had been 
reserved, of increasing it in the maritime counties, or 
in those most vulnerable and most exposed to the first 
attacks of the enemy. I am Borry that a different dis- 
tribution was not adopted with reference to the grand 
object of resisting and repelling the attempt of invasion 
in the first moment it should be made. I am confirmed 
by the opinions of much better judges than I can 
pretend to be of such a matter, that a much smaller 
force would be sufficient to harass or defeat the enemy 
on their first landing, than a much larger force after 
they had landed and recovered from the effects of their 
voyage. Both, therefore, with regard to the economy 
of money, but with regard to a much more important 
economy — that of lives, it would have been desirable 
that the number of Volunteers should have been in- 
creased and encouraged in proportion to the proximity 
to the coast, and to those points which are most liable to 

attackSi . , From what I have observed, and 

F 3 


itom what I have heard of the state of the discipline of 
the Volunteers, I am more and more convinced th«t in 
order to bring them to any considerable degree ci dis- 
cipline, they must be assembled in bodies, and that if 
they continue in companies they will make but little 
comparative progress. It seems desirable, therefore, 
that wherever it can be done, they should be formed 
into battalions. Where that cannot be done, tiiey 
ought to be formed and brought together into as nu^ 
merous connected bodies as circumstances will permit, 
so as to have the benefit of inspection and discipline. 
It appears to me extremely desiraUe, therefore, that 
every battalion of Volunteers should, in addition to its 
own officers, have the assistance of two officers of the 
service, one a Field Officer and one an Adjutant, to assist 
in the instruction and discipline of the corps. These 
officers should be considered as belonging to the Army, 
and should in every respect enjoy their rank, pay, and 
other advantages, as if they were actually serving in 

the Army I should imagine, however, upon 

a conjectural view of the matter, that the whole ex- 
pense of a Field Officer and Adjutant for every battalion 
would not exceed 160,000Z. or 180,000?. a-year. Now 
this expense surely is trifling in comparison with ren- 
dering three hundred and fifty thousand men an effi- 
cient and improving force Before I sit down, I 

wish to say a few words respecting the exemptions to 
which Volunteers are entitled. It appears that what is 
understood to be the law on this subject is not what liie 
Legislature intended. As the law stands, however, no 
exemption is allowed unless the person claiming it pro* 




duces a certificate that he has attended twenty-four 
drills preyioiis to the 21st of September, But there 
are many who have attended twice that number of 
drills without haTing such a certificate, and, there- 
fore, would be subject to the ballot. If any doubt 
remains as to the exemptions, it is but right that the 
Legislature should pass an Act clearing it up, that those 
who were influenced by the prospect of exemptions, 
which they conceived were held out to them, may not 
have cause to complain that they were deceived by the 
ambiguity of the Acta of Parliament There is another 
point. The law says that to entitle to exemption, the 
Volunteers claiming it must have been exercised with 
anna ; yet, in some places, it was impossible to procure 
arms ; nor am I surprised at it, considering the great 
and sudden demand for supplying the Army of Eeserve 
and the great number of Volunteers throughout tlie 
country. Yet, in such cases, it surely would bo unrea- 
sonable to refuse tlie exemption^ when the claimants 
had actually learnt many very important, and, perhaps, 
some of the most tedious parts of discipline without arms." 
Fox, like Windham, though on very different grounds, 
was no great friend to the national movement of defence* 
He had written to Grey in August from St Ann's ; — 
** Here we have Volunteers in plenty learning on the 
green to stand easij^ and so forth; but not a single 
weapon, gun, or pike among them all, and this they 
call training!" And again in November: — "I mean 
on the day of the Army to support Windham cordially," ** 

* ConreBpondenoe, voL iii, pp. 424 aud 433. 


And so he did on the 9ih of December, in a most able 
speech. "All this," he cried, ** is quite of a piece with 
the theatrical ostentatious foppery of the Volunteer, 
which seems fit for nothing but to be put on the top of 
a hill to be looked at ! " But Fox was far from con- 
fining himself to this single topic of the Volunteers. He 
inveighed against the recent refusal of the King to give 
a military post to the Prince of Wales. He spoke of 
the necessity of a military counciL He complained of 
the recall of his brother from the command in Ireland, 
and defended, at great length, his brother's conduct. 
No other fault, he said, could be laid to the General's 
charge than that he chanced to be brother of Mr. 
Charles Fox of the House of Commons, and first cousin 
of Lord Edward Fitzgerald. And he added, with per- 
fect truth, "No man of General Fox's rank has, I 
believe, mixed less at any time in the politics of the 

Both Thomas Grenville and Lord Castlereagh spoke 
in this debate, and both with great ability : the one in 
opposition to the Government, the other as a member 
of the Cabinet in its support Mr. Secretary Yorke 
addressed the House a second time. He said that the 
points just urged by Mr. Pitt "desen^ed great con- 
sideration ;" and he indicated that, as to some, he was 
inclining to adopt them. Adopt them in fact he did, 
and with the least possible delay. On the very next 
evening, the 10th of December, he rose in his place 
and brought in a Volunteer Exemption Bill, dealing 
with the doubts and diflBculties on that subject which 
Pitt had stated. No light proof surely how well- 




grounded were Pitt's suggestionB, and liow much of 
ascendency they carried mth them. 

On the 12th, upon the Report of the Army Estimates, 
the system of national defences was again discussed. 
Then Windham renewed his lamentations : — " Between 
Volunteers and Militia, the notion of a regular array 
has nearly dropped from your minds. You hardly in- 
quire what it is or where it is to be found. It seems to 
be the least part of the national defence. Pars minima 
est ipsa puella sui!'' Another man of genius injured 
only himself on this occasion: — " Erskine made a fooUsh 
figure, I hear, in the debate on the Report*' So writes 
Fox, who was not present. 

Pitt took that opportunity to renew and to guard from 
misconception some of bis late proposals : — ** One mis- 
conception," he saidj " has possibly arisen from my wish 
to save the time of the House, So far from having for 
my object the appointment of field officers who were to 
have a control over the Colonels Commandant of the 
corpSj nothing could be more repugnant to my feeUngs 
and sentiments. My sole and great object was to afford 
the Commandants of corps the benefit of the assistance 
and advice of officers not their superiors, but from ex- 
perience competent to aid them. • . . . , Such officers 
should not be placed over the Commandants of corps, 
but on the contrary be subordinate to them." 

But here some practical objections were stated by 
the Government, " I fear/* said Torke, " it is out of 
the question to procure Field-Officers from the line in 
sufficient numbers." '• I concur in the principle, but I 
have doubts of its practicability,** said Addington. , ^ * 



Chap. XX^I. 

" I own, however, that I think the House indebted to the 
Eight Hon. gentleman [no longer his Bight Hon. friend] 
for his suggestion, as well as for that respecting Adju- 
tants, which has been adopted, and which has produced 
much good effect." 

Besides these measures of military armament, the re? 
newed suspension of the Habeas Corpus in Ireland^ and 
a martial law for the same country, there was little 
business transacted in this early Session. On the 20th 
of December the House of Commons adjourned to the 
1st of February following, and Pitt at once returned to 
Walmer Castle. • 

While the military measures, past and present, were 
thus on several occasions most fully discussed, it may 
be noticed that little or nothing had yet been said about 
the naval. In truth, however, as soon afterwards ap- 
peared, they were the weakest point in the whole admi- 
nistration. When it was first formed there were great 
hopes from Lord St. Vincent. His appointment was 
hailed on every side as the best that could be made. It 
proved, on the contrary, one of the very worst that the 
Admiralty of England has ever known. To this very 
day it is held up as a standing argument on the side of 
those who maintain that a landsman may often be pre- 
ferred to a seaman as First Lord.^ 

I am far from denying, however, that Earl St. Vincent 
meant well. He must have felt a true zeal for that 

9 " But I have seen so many 
good and gallant Admirals make a 
very contemptible figure at this 
Board"— Buch are Lord St. Vin- 

cent's own words on his appoint- 
ment. (Letter to the Duke of 
Grafton, dated Admiralty, Feb. 
26, 1801.) 




noble profession in which his own glory was achieved 
To remedy the abuses in several departments, he insti- 
tuted a Commission of Naval Inquiry, from which, as 
will be seen, some important results in general politics 
ensued. But his own reforms, as in the dockyards, were 
for the most part hasty, ill-considered, and imperious. 
C!omplaints and remonstrances, or, as his friendly bio* 
grapher prefers to call them, *' bowlings and yells," arose 
(m every side. "All this," adds the biographer, '^Lord 
St. Vincent was prepared for ; and, like Ulysses, he 
stopped his ears and pursued his way." ^ The first time 
perhaps that any Minister of State Has been compli- 
mented for stopping his ears ! 

It is indeed only too plain that Lord St Vincent 
would not listen to objections, and could not bear them 
with temper. When the press animadverts on his 
conduct) he declares himself " assailed by base hireliug 
assassins ! " When a naval officer of rank presumes to 
speak against him in the House of Commons, that officer 
becomes " a sneaking cur ! " ^ 

Still far more serious were the charges brought against 
Earl St. Vincent, that he had flattered himself to 
the last moment with the expectation of maintaining 
peace' — ^that he had reduced the navy to a very low 
ebb by the sale of ships and stores— that he had been 
feeble and remiss in his measures for the equipment of 
the fleet. Sufiering from ill health, and governed by 

» Life of Earl St. Vincent, by 
Captain Brenton, vol. ii. p. 157. 

* Letters of January 21, 1804, 
and May 19, 1806. 

' " This I mnst admit to be 
tme,*' writes Captain Brenton 
(Life, vol. ii. p. 212). 


two or three personal favourites at the Board, it may 
be doubted whether the decisions that he made were all 
in truth his own. Certain it is that he evinced a wise 
and right judgment when, in March, 1803, he ex- 
pressed to Mr. Addington his desire to resign. It is to 
be regretted, both for his sake and the country's, that 
from other political considerations he was at that time 
pressed and persuaded to continue at his post 





Lord Grenville's proposed jimctioTi with Fox — Declined by Pitt — 
Pftrty pamphlete — llJnei>8 of the Kiiig; — Pitt's coiifidentiAl cou- 
Teraation with Lord Mahuesbmy — Tfoposed adjournment of the 
House of CJommons — Pitta 8pe<ich on the ConstitutioiMd doctrine 
— Volunteer Cousolidiition Bill — Ettoib of Govemment in the Mili- 
tary and Naval syst*inis — Pitt's Motitm on tho State of the Navy — 

^ Interview between I*itt and Lortl Eldon — Deaths of Lord Cainel- 
ford and Lord Alvtodey — Lord Moira at Eilinburgh — Correnpond- 
©nee of Pitt with Lord Mtlvillo — Votes in both Houses of Parlia- 
ment — Resignation of MiniEtuna — The King applitH to Pitt. 

Eably in the new ye>ar we find Mr. Pitt return to town. 
Mr. Fitt to Mr. Ease, 

*' Dear Rose, 

'* Rochester, Saturday nighti 
Jan. 7, 1804, 

** I write, having got thus far on my way to town. 
The weather seemed to allow me an inter\til in which I 
could leave the coast for a few days, and letters which I 
Jiave had from some of my friends in town made mo 
think it material not to delay coming np, in order to 
ascertain what is likely to be the state of parties when 
the House next meets. 

** Much will depend on the line now to be adopted ; 
and as I find I must give up going to Batli, and diaU 
luse that chance of seeing you^ I should be very' glad 


if you could, without inconvenience, meet me in town. 
I mean at present to stay over Thursday, and perhaps 
Friday, but that must depend a little upon wind and 
intelligence. The sooner therefore you can come the 

"Ever yours sincerely. 

The friend to whom in this letter Pitt especially 
refers as desirous to see him was Lord Grenville, and 
Lord Grenville's object was to propose a concert of 
measures and an unity of action between themselves 
and Fox. This scheme of systematic opposition was, 
however, steadily declined by Pitt, With some sore- 
ness on that ground, Lord Grenville wrote a few lines 
to his brother announcing the result. 

Lord Gfrenville to Lord BvxMngham. 

•* Grosvenor Square, Jan. 10,* 1804. 

"I came here yesterday to meet the person to 
whom I wrote. I may be able to send you a detail by 
a safer opportunity, but there is little worth talking 
of. The same ideas prevail, and nearly the same course 
will be pursued. The most decided hatred and con- 
tempt of those who have done so much to provoke both, 
but views of middle lines, and managements, and deli- 
cacies oil Von 86 perd. « q. »> 

Here is another entry of the same time from Wilber- 

1 Misprinted as the 30th in the Courts and Cabinets of George IH., 
Tol. ill. p. 342. 



force's Jonrnal: — "January 10, 1804. — After breakfast 
to see Pitt. Much political talk. Found him resolved 
not to hamper liimself with engagements, or go into 
sj^stematic opposition." 

Lord Grenville, howevefj who very seldom receded 
from any ideas that] he had once formed, determined to 
pursue the overturea wliich he had suggested. For 
these he had an excellent channel of communication in 
his brother Thomas Grenville, so long both the political 
and the personal friend of Fox. Soon afterwards he 
announced the result in a letter addressed to Wahner 

Lord GrenviUe to Mr, Pitt 

*'Mtdeae Pitt, 

' South Audloy Square, Jan. 31 » 1804. 

" Ton will remember that I fully explained to 

you in our late cx)nveraatiuns the decided opinion of 
those with whom I have acted for the last three years, 
that a declared and regidar opposition to the present 
Government was now more than ever an indispensable 
public duty ; and I stated to you the line which I 
thought it was likely we should pursue, when they were 
apprised by me that your resolution was finally taken 
not to act on any sucli opinion, either in the ext-ended 
and comprehensive plan which, in common with them, I 
had wished, or even on any more limited scale. I men- 
tioned this to you at the time as my own conjecture 
merely, and liable of course to be altered by discussion 
with them ; but I found, in fact, that I had judged 
rightly of their opinion, which proved to be very little, 
if at all, different from that of which I had spoken to 

116 LIFE OF PITT. Chap. XXXrn. 

" That personal affection which never can be altered 
by differences of political conduct, even if they were 
much greater than I flatter myself are at all likely to 
be found between us, and a determination that every 
part of my line shall be both open and unequivocal, 
make me very desirous not to withhold from you the 
knowledge of the step which we have taken in conse- 
quence of the opinions I have stated. In this com- 
munication you wiU find nothing more than you will 
hear declared in Parliament whenever the occasion 
shall arise. But you will attribute this circumstance 
not to any reserve of mine, but to the simple fact that, 
meaning to do nothing but what we think just and 
honourable in itself, and incumbent upon us as the 
necessary result of the opinions we have long professed, 
we are determined that what we do shall be openly 
avowed, without mystery or concealment of any kind. 

"What I have therefore to state to you is, that an 
opportunity has been taken to explain to Mr. Fox, that 
we hold (and, as we believe, in common with him) two 
principles of action as indispensable to any reasonable 
hope of saving the country from its present dangers. 
First, that the Government which now exists is mani- 
festly incapable of carrying on the pubh'c business in 
such a manner as the crisis requires, and that persons 
sincerely entertaining that opinion are bound to avow 
and actively pursue it ; and, secondly, that if, now or 
hereafter, there should arise any question of forming a 
new Government, the wishes and endeavours of all who 
mean well to the country should be directed to the 
establishment of an administration comprehending as 
large a proportion as possible of the weight, talents, and 
character to be found in public men of all descriptions, 
and without any exception. To this was added our 
decided opinion that it was not necessary, for the- pur- 

1804. LITE OF PITT. 117 

pose of acting on these two principles, to extend the 
communication to any other matters whatever, or to 
enter into details of any kind not relating to the 
Parliamentfiry business which may from time to time 
be brought forward; and, above all, that anything 
leading to compromises of former opinions, or to engage- 
ments for future arrangements, was to be carefully 
avoided, in order that it might be at all times, and with 
the strictest truth, distinctly and publicly denied, .... 
" I' very much hope that you continue in the resolu- 
tion 'of coming up, at all events, to the meeting of 

" Most aflfectionately yours, 

" Grenville." * 

This letter is, I observe, docketed in Pitt's hand as 
" Answered," but I do not find any copy of that reply 
among his papers. It was, however, most distinctly in 
the negative. 

I may here notice that the junction between Fox and 
the Grenvilles was not on either side called a " Coali- 
tion.*' They loved better to call it a "Cooperation." 
And this for two reasons. In the first place, the very 
name of Coalition had grown hateful from the evil 
precedent of 1783. Secondly, the junction in this case, 
as Grenville's letter clearly explains it, was not an 
entire concert of measures, but only an agreement to 
act together under certain circumstances and up to a 
certain point. 

All this time the war of party pamphlets was still 

' Compare this letter with one I before, and printed in Fox's Cor- 
ftpfn Fox to Grey, dated two days | respoiKlence. 


raging. The ^Near Observer' had published two 
replies to the * More Accurate Observer.' There^ held 
been another pamphlet on Addington's side, whifch was 
also anonymous, but which was subsequently ascribed 
to Dr. Bisset. To this last an answer was given by Mr, 
Eobert Ward, wi^out any announcement, but yet with- 
out any concealment, of his name. The last of these 
authors received the thanks of the statesman whom he 
had defended. 

Mr. Pitt to Mr. Robert Ward. 

*' Dear Sir, " Walmer Castle, J^n. 31, 1804. 

" I am impatient to thank you for your letter, 
though I am imable to return as fuU an answer as I 
wish on the subject of it, as by some accident the 
pamphlet has not been forwarded to me in town. I 
have now written for it In the mean time, if I werfe to 
judge only from the specimen of some material passages 
which have been extracted in the*newspapers, I should 
have very little doubt what my opinion will be of the 
rest of the work. Now, however, that I know who is 
the author, I can hardly want any other proof to satisfy 
me that my cause could not have been placed in better 
hands, and that I shall have every reason to think my- 
self highly indebted to the zeal and friendship which 
have prompted the undertaking. 

" I am, with great regard, 

"W. Pitt.*' 

On the 1st of February the House of Commons 
resumed its sittings, but Mr. Pitt delayed his return to 
town more than a fortnight longer. Lord Malmesbury, 




in his diary, says ; " I came to town with my family on 
the 8th of February.^ I fomid the spirit of party very 
high, but Pitt still absent" 

The noble diplomatist goes on to relate a new and 
afflicting incident of this period in public affairs : " On 
the 12th or 13th the King (after having taken cold by 
remaining in wet clotho8 longer than shonld be) had 
symptoms of the gout. He could not attend on the 
Queen's birthday, though he appeared in the evening 
at an assembly at the Queen s House ; he was too lame 
to walk without a cane ; and his manner struck me as 
so unusual and incoherent, that I could not help re- 
marking it to Lord Pelham, who, the next day (for I 
went away early), told me that he had, in consequence 
of my remark, attended to it, and that it was too plain 
the King was beginning to be imwelL Lord Pelham, 
who played that evening with the Queen, added that 
her anxiety was manifest, since she never kept her 
eyes off the King during the whole time the party 

The King was at first attended only by his household 
physician. He had conceived a strong dislike to the 
Doctors WHlis, from the treatment which they had 
found requisite in his malady three years before — a 
feeling very frequent with persons in that afflicted con- 
dition- At his own urgent request, as his illness 

^ The word is '* Janimry" in the 
pnblifllied Diariei?, vol, iv. p. 285 ; 
but this is plainJy a slip of tlie pen 
either in t)ie autlior or tJie editor, 
sinee tlio formei proeetds to men- 

tion the debates in the House of 
Oommotu as in ppo^ress. There 
are Home Bimilar dips in the oeiLt 

120 LIFE OF PITT. Chap. XXXVn- 

increased, another physician, Dr. Symonds, was called 
in. For two days His Majesty's life was in danger, and 
for at least a week the derangement of his mind was 
complete. By degrees he began to rally, but more 
slowly and with a greater tendency to relapse than 
either in 1789 or 1801. 

It must be felt by critics now, as it was by politicians- 
then, that this most unhappy illness of the King, at the 
very time when a foreign invasion was impending, 
tended not only to aggravate the dangers of the countryi 
but to complicate, in a singular degree, the duties of 
its public men. 

We may trace the crisis of alarm in Mr. AbbotV 
Diary : " February 16, 1804. Called on Mr. Addington, 
but did not see him. The Cabinet were sitting, and 
the physicians going in and out 6f the room. Mr» 
Addington was with the Prince of Wales at eleven. 
The Bulletin of this morning was, * No material altera- 
tion has taken place since yesterday.' " 

It was probably on the same day that Mr. Pitt re- 
turned to London. Ere long he had a most confidential 
conversation with Lord Malmesbury, which the latter 
has detailed. 

"Sunday, February 19, 1804.— I called on Pitt, and 
met him as I was coming from his door, and returned 
with him. I said it was my wish to see him at thi» 
moment, and to hear from him his sentiments and in- 
tentions in the present very critical situation of affairs. 

"He, without hesitation, entered into a very full and 
unreserved detail of both. He began by stating that 
the two very important events now pending, namelj, the 

1804. LIFE OF PITT. 121 

probability of a very formidable invasion, and the 
dangerous state of the King's health, placed the country 
in a state of difficulty and danger dissimilar to any 
former one, and required from all those who were 
called on to act in public a very different mode of 
reasoning and acting than at any past period. To 
these points a third might be added, namely, the state of 
parties; and although these three considerations were 
in themselves separate and distinct, yet they bore very 
sensibly on each other, and, taken collectively, made 
the actual position of the country a very serious and 
alarming one. That he had given each of them due 
and serious attention, had weighed them in his mind 
maturely and leisurely, in order that he might deter- 
mine safely and calmly on such a line of conduct as 
became him, and which he might never be sorry for ; 
and that after the most diligent thought and reflection, 
he could see none better nor more conformable to his 
notions of what was right than to persevere in that 
which he had pursued for some time past 

** That, therefore, he would never make the turning out 
this administration the object of his endeavours ; that 
though some of his best friends had united themselves 
avowedly for that purpose with Fox, yet he had rejected 
and would uniformly reject any overture which might 
be made to him to become a party to such a system. 

" That in all simple and plain questions it was his 
resolution to support Government ; but when Govern- 
ment omitted anything he thought the state of the 
country required to be done, or did it weakly and in- 
efficiently, he then should deliver his sentiments clearly 



and distinctly, but not even then in a spirit of opposi- 
tion, since he would never do it till he had ascertained 
Grovernment would persist in what he condemned, and 
not adopt what he thought essentially necessary. 

*^That towards office he would take no other step 
than such as might arise out of this conduct ; and that 
he said this not from any foolish aflfectation of slighting 
the value of power and ofiSce, or even from a disinclina- 
tion to resume it, but because he thought it conscien- 
tiously right, and should blame himself if he acted 

"But if, said he, from being out-debated (which they 
will be), or out-voted (which they will not be), Ministers 
should get frightened, and want to resign— or if, from 
a much greater improbability, they should, from the 
pressure of the times, get conscious and convinced of 
their own inadequacy to administer the government 
of the country, and were led to give up their places, in 
either of these cases he should look upon it as right and 
a duty to contribute towards forming a new adminisla^- 
tion by any means in his^ power ; and, added he (stating 
a tliird case), this duty would be a paramount one, and 
superior to anything with him^ namely, if the King 
should ever, from having either of the above-mentioned 
feelings, call upon him for his services. 

"I never interrupted him during this discourse. 
When he had finished, I thanked him most sincerely for 
the confidential way in which he had spoken ; that it 
gave me infinite pleasure, because it concurred most 
entirely with my own sentiments and principles ; and 
that iQ now reassuring him of my adherence to him, I 




had no other motive than doinsr what 1 comidercd as 
essentially right. He expressed great satislactiou at 
having my concurrence, lie said, ' I should advertise 
you it has not that of my eager and ardent young 
friends, whom I know to be also yours (Canning and 
a, Leveson) ; but we are on the best of terms.' 

" To this I assented, and asked whether they would 
abide by him or join the GrenviUes ; adding, I had not 
seen Canning for several months* He said he did not 
exactly foresee how that would end ; that he knew they 
had communication with the GrenviUes ; and that he 
liimself had been assailed in prose and verse by them ; 
and that Canning, finding this fail, half staggered by 
his friendship for him and half disapproving all he did, 
knew no longer what to say, but had gone down to 
Mrs. Canning, where he now was. 

•' On the King's health he said he knew no partr- 
culfJtrs ; but that if it was not soon restored, a Regency 
must be appointed ; and he could not conceive that it 
would be different from the last projected Kegency 
Bill in 1789. 

** On my observing that the Prince of Wales had 
asserted that the King's illness must ladt several months^ 
Pitt saidj — 

'* ' Thy wish was father, Harry, to that thought' " 

It was impossible that the King's real state should 
remain a secret from the country. Within a few days 
it came to be commonly known. 

On Sunday, the 2Gth, two documents were published 
r by authority. The one a prayer composed by the Ai'ch- 
[bishop of Canterbuiy, and offering thanks to God ** for 

o 2 

124 LIFE OF PITT. Chap. XXXVn. 

the hope and prospect of His Majesty's speedy recovery." 
The other a Bulletin issued by the physicians, and 
announcing that **His Majesty is going on favourably, 
though any rapid amendment is not to be expected.'* 
It could not fail to be noticed that these two documents 
contradicted each other. 

Next day, the 27th, the physicians were again ex- 
amined by the Cabinet. They declared that the King 
was perfectly competent to do any act of government, 
but that it would be prudent for some time to spare 
him all unnecessary exertion of mind. It is certain, 
indeed, that although the King's mind might be re- 
stored to soundness, it continued, during several weeks, 
to be highly nervous arid excitable. 

On this same evening (Monday the 27th) this delicate 
question was stirred in the Commons. Sir Eobert 
Lawley moved an adjournment of the House, consider- 
ing the notoriety of the King's illness, and pending a 
communication from the Ministers. Mr. Addington 
declared that his sense of duty led him to abstain from 
any communication at this time. Mr. Fox, with his 
usual eloquence, inveighed against the Minister's re- 
serve. Then rose Mr. Pitt, who, in his speech— it was 
his first since the Eecess — laid down what appears to 
be the true constitutional doctrine on the question. 

" I confess that whatever opinion I may entertain 
upon the whole of that critical and anxious situation in 
which the country is now placed, and a more critical 
and anxious one never existed in the history of this 
country, I cannot think that the motion for an adjourn- 
ment is one which, in any possible view of the subject. 




can be either expedient or proper. I certainly do feel 
that if, Tinfortiinately, the moment should come, which 
I most earnestly hope will nerer be the case, when 
Parliament shall be obliged to take cognizance of a 
suspension in the exercise of the Royal functions, from 
that moment I think, on the constitutioDal groxmd 
stated by the Hon, gentleman opposite to me (Mr. Fox), 
that Parliament should be precluded from doing any 
act except that of taking the necessary measures for 
supplying the deficiency in the executive branch of the 
Constitution. This is an opinion I have ahvavs enter- 
tained, and this is the conduct which was adopted by 
Parliament on a former occasion ; and although, at the 
period to which I allude, there was a very considerable 
difierence of opinion as to the particular mode which 
ought to be adopted, yet I believe thegeneral principle 
which had been laid down wais universally approved of* 
But I certainly do not think that a mere general 
apprehension and impression, however well founded they 
may appear to be, that the pei'sonal exercise of the 
Royal authority has been suspended, would justify 
Parliament in suspentling all its other functions, unless 
that fact was communicated to them in a way that 
would render it necessary for them to take notice of it. 
K, however, th« regular reports of the physicians 
apjiointed to attend Ilis Majesty should induce gentle- 
men to think that it is the duty of lilinisters, under all 
the circinnstanees of the case, to take immediate steps 
for making a commmiication to Parliament ujjon the 
suliject, it is not only proper, but it is the duty of those 
Members who entertain that opinion, to inquire of 

126 LIFE OF PITT. Chap. XXXVn. 

Ministers why they have not made such communication 
to Parliament ? I confess I feel that it is a most diffi- 
cult and arduous responsibility for Ministers to deter- 
mine how long the communication ought to be delayed, 

and at what moment it ought to be made 

I do, therefore, hope that Ministers will not, both for 
the sake of the Sovereign and of the country, push any 
fiselings of delicacy, and sentiments of reverence and 
affection which they, in common with every loyal man 
in the country, must feel--^I hope, I say, they will not 
push thjose sentiments to the extent of endangering that 
which has always been the dearest object of His Majesty's 
care, namely, the safety of those subjects whose happi-^ 
ness it has been the study of his life to promote." 

After Pitt the debate proceeded. Windham and 
Canning, Grey and Grenville took part in it. But 
finally the motion of Sir Eobert Lawley was negatived 
without a division. The House then passed to the 
Second Reading of the Volunteer Consolidation BUI, — 
a measure introduced by Mr. Secretary Yorke, with the 
view of bringing into one the divers Acts which referred 
to the Yeomanry and Volunteer Corps. Yorke endea- 
voured to confine the discussion to this single object. 
On the other hand, Windham and Grenville were 
determined that the discussion should have a Wider 
range ; and such was also Pitt's resolve. He began his 
speech as follows : " Sir, from the opinion of the Right 
Hon. Secretary that this discussion should be confined 
within narrow limits, and should apply solely to the 
measure immediately before the House, I decidedly 
differ; and with the sentiments of my Right Hon. 




Friend on the lower bench (Mr. Thomas Grenville), 
that we are now railed npon to take into view every 
thing connected with the national defence, I entirely 
concur,"* Pitt then proceeded to explain at length the 
system which he deemed desirable, and the practical 
suggestions which had occurred to his mind. 

These discussions on the Vohmteer system continned 
during several days. It was observed in the course of 
them that the Prime Minister had become greatly chafed. 

On the 10th of ilarch we find 3[r. Wilber force write 
as follows to his friend Lord iiluncaster ; — " I really 
feel for Addington, who is a better man than most of 
them, though not well fitted for the warfare at St, 
Stephen's, lie has exhibited — you, I tliink, would also 
interpret it this way — marts of soreness by h»sing 
his temper readily, once indeed without the smallest 
reason. Pitt on that occasion behaved nobly. Instead 
of ret<)rting angrily, as I own I feared, or even showing 
any contemptuous coohiesSi he scarcely seemed con- 
scious of Addingtons having exposed himself, and 
answered with perfect good humour," 

Thus had Pitt frankly and freely pointed out the 
errors of the Government in the Military system. Bnt 
the errors in the Naval had grown to be greater still ; 
andHhese Pitt felt it equally his duty to denounce, and, 
if he could, correct, On the loth of March, according 
to a previous notice, he brought forward a motion on 
the state of the Navy. It was only a motion for papers. 

* In tbo PorL Dtbates, vol. h 
New Benta, p* 542. the latter allii- 
aioa IB explained as to Mr. Wind- 

bam. But tbat genncman had 
not yet spoken: be Toacs to follow 

128 LIFE OP PITT. Chap. XXX Vn. 

but he acknowledged in his speech that he designed it 
as a censure upon Lord St. Vincent. A long and able 
debate ensued. Tiemey, as Treasurer of the Navy, rose 
next, and sought to vindicate his chief. As regarded 
Pitt, he also indulged in a strain of great asperity. 
Sheridan in like manner resisted the motion, and 
attacked the mover in a speech, as Fox presently con- 
fessed, of the utmost brilliancy and eloquence. Adding- 
ton himself spoke later in the night. But in spite of 
Sheridan's eloquence, and looking only to the facts 
alleged, Wilberforce might write in his journal : "Never 
was made a more wretched defence. I was moved," he 
adds, " by Tiemey's low attack. I answered him quite 
without premeditation, and, as I was told, extremely 

Fox also stood forth against Tiemey and Sheridan. 
He did so with some diflSculty, since he was, as he 
avowed, a personal friend and ally of Lord St, Vincent. 
But he declared that this ws^ his very reason for agree- 
ing to the motion. Any inquiry would be for the 
advantage of the noble and gallant EarL It wotdd 
vindicate his character in the fullest manner ; it would 
prove him in every respect a perfect contrast to all his 
Cabinet colleagues in merit and renown. 

This debate — enlivened also by some professibnal 
sparring between the Naval officers. in the House — con- 
tinued till a late hour in the morning. Then Pitt rose 
to reply. Late as was the hour, he delivered a long and 
animated speech. At its close he severely lashed his 
first opponent, Tiemey. 

" This new convert to the Treasury," continued Mr. 




Pitt, "says that Lord St. Vincent is not bo much 
ftlarmed, m panic-stricken as I am. I ehonkl be f,r1a(l 
to know if this be the language of the Chancellor of the 
Exchequer. If it be, what has the country to expect 
from his vigilance and energy? The Army, although 
not so powerfiil as I could have wished, yet has made 
the most noble display of patriotism. The new military 
system, that of the Volunteers, owes not it^ origin to 
the present Ministers. It was a favourite system of the 
last Slinisters, The present men in power have fre- 

Iquently adopt-ed, but seldom projected, any measure 
whatever. With all my respect, nay, affection for the 
new Military system, our Naval defence is that on 
which we should chiefly rest our hopes. Our Navy is 
the grand and proud bulwark of our fame — that Navy 
whicli has extended our commerce, our dominion, and 

.power to the most remote |>arts of the world — that 
Navy which has explored new sources of wealth, wliich 
has discovered new objects of glory. Let us, therefore^ 

baugment, i-ather than diminish, the pride of the nation^ 
and let us not be referred back to dry periods of history, 
when all comparisons are absurd and unavailing. Let 
us watch with the greatest jealousy and circumspection 
the rise and progress of the new marine of France, so 

. dangerous to the interest and glory of this rountiy. Let 
us watch France more actively than in Ibrmer times, 
because she has attained new and extraordinary energies. 
Her present exertions are unprecedented in history. 
We ought to meet them with at least equal, not inferior, 

'activity and energies,'* The scanty report of this 
night's proceedings here states that " after a variety of 

G 3 


arguments, Mr. Pitt noticed the conduct of Mr. Sheridan |jJ 
in substance nearly as follows:" — ** Among the many i 
assaults which I have had to repel this evening, was one I 
from a very brilliant flash of lightning, a meteor which 
for some time has moved neither on the one side nor onl 
the other ; a meteor whose absence aU may with me! 
have regretted ; a meteor which, on its return, con- 
centrating its force, has fixed its rays of resentment 
and indignation against me — but in whose blazing face 
I can look without fear or dread. No insinuations, 
however bitter or bold, will ever induce me to surrender 
my freedom in this House. I am fully determined not 
to rejiounce my privileges as a member of Parliament. 
I admire the uncommon valour, I extol the vast renown, 
the glorious achievements of Lord St. Vincent. To him 
we are highly indebted for shedding extraordinary 
lustre on our national glory. I did believe that when 
his Lordship took upon himself the direction of our 
Kaval affairs, the public service would derive great 
benefit from his patriotic exertions and professional 
skill. I did believe that his name, in whatever Naval 
capacity, was a tower of strength; but I am apt to 
think that between his Lordship as a commander on 
the sea, and his Lordship as First Lord of the Admiralty, 
there is a very wide difference." 
"C The full sting of this reply is not perhaps apparent 
on perusal. We must remember that the countenance 
of Mr. Sheridaji bore markg of his deep potations, and 
had grown to be in its colour almost crimson ; while it 
was still lighted up by eyes of extraordinary brilliancy 
and power. With this hint we may the better ap- 

LIFE OF riTT. 131 

preciitte the happy sunilitnde of the meteor and it*? 
** blazing face." 

Aftor this reply, and a few more words from Sir Wil- 
liam Pnlteney, the House divided, when the mimliers 
were, — 

For Mn Pitfs motion 130 

Against it 201 

Majority •..,.;. 71 

Writing a week or two later, Wilberforce observes 
that he found many persons condemn Pitt's motion on 
tlie Navy as factious ; but he declares his own full con- 
viction that it has done good : — ^** The Admiralty. I am 
glad to hear, are exerting themselves with double, I 
should rather say tenfold, activity " 

On the Iflth the Volunteer Consolidation Bill was 
brought tip on Eeport, Fox moved that the Bill sliould 
be recommitted. In a vehement speech be ex)ndemned 
the many shortcomings of the Government. " But/* he 
said in conclusion, " I do not tremble m much, because 
I do believe that even all these things cimnot destroy 
the spirit of the country. It will, I am sure, not only 

,rise superior to every effort of the enemy, but I am 
sanguine enough to believe — ^and I cannot reach a 
higher climax — that it will rise superior to the weak- 
ness, the incapacity, and the imbecility of the present 

I Jlinisters 1 " Fox was supported by his new allies — 
Windham and Thom£is Grenville; but his motion for 

' the recommitment was opposed by Pitt, and on a divi- 
sion rejected by 173 votes against only 56. 


Next day, the 20th, the Chancellor, Lord Eldon, 
being in the strongest manner impressed with the 
aggravation to the public dangers produced by the 
King's state of mind, sought an interview with Mr. Pitt. 
He sent him a note through his eldest son, who was at 
that time member for Boroughbridge. Pitt replied as 
follows: — 

" York Place, Tuesday night, 
" My dear Lord, March 20, 1804. 

" Mr. Scott was so good as to give me your note 
this evening in the House of Commons. I am very glad 
to accept your invitation for Saturday, as, whatever may 
be the result of our conversation, I think the sooner we 
hold it the better. The state of public affairs makes it 
impossible that the public suspense can last very long, 
and nothing can give me more satisfaction than to put 
you confidentially in possession of all the sentiments and 
opinions by which my conduct will be regulated. 
" Yours very sincerely, 


Pitt went accordingly, and dined Ute-ortete with the 
Chancellor. What passed is nowhere to be found re- 
corded. Later in the year Addington mentioned the 
transaction to his friend the Speaker. He did not deny 
that the Chancellor had stated the interview to him, 
but complained that this communication had not been 
made until a month afterwards.* 

In the course of this month the Pitt family lost its 
head. The second Lord Camelford, who had succeeded 
his father in 1793, was a young man of generous feelings. 

^ Diaries of Lord Colchester, Oct 29, 1804. 




but strong passions and eccentric views. Once* to bring 
tbe nomination system into contempt, he had threatened 
that he would cause his ne<jro footman to be elected for 
one of his boroughs. Engaging in a duel — ^in which 
he was, as he owned, the aggressor — he was mortally 
wounded, 'and lingered only a few days. His title 
became extinct, and his large estates in Cornwall de- 
Tolved upon his only sister, Lady Grenville, 

On the 20tli of March died also one of Pitt's 
earliest and dearest friends— Eichard Pejiper iVrden. 
now Lord Alvanley, and Chief Justice of the Common 
Pleas, " I was overcome with the event to tears,** writes 
WilLerforce, another early friend. ** In the ev»3ning 
Pitt showed me a few lines Arden had written to take 
.leave of him the night before his death, recommending 
his son, Pitt's godson, to Pitt's protection," 

The decease of the Lord Chief Justice gave Addington 
an opening, of which he immediately availed hiniselt^ to 
ofler Erskine the jiost of Attomey-GeneraL Erskine was 
very well inclined to accept it For the last two years 
at least he had been edging away from liis former cliief 
at St. Ann's. Of late moreover the estrangement had 
widened, Erskine had combined with Sheridan to draw 
up and transmit to Fox, through the Duke of Norfolk, 
a remonstrance sifted by themselves and others, and 
levelled at his recent junction \vith the Grenvilles, But 
Erskine was not quite a free agent. So early as 1784 
he had been appointx^d Attorney-General to the Prince 
of Wales, and on rc^ceiving Addington's proposal of the 
liigher post» deemed it necessaiy, through yheridauj to 
consult His Royal Highness. 


In the past year His Eoyal Highness had been by no 
means very averse to Addington ; but he had fixed his 
heart on a high military post and rank, and when this 
was refused by the King, he had extended his resent- 
ment to the Minister. Under these circumstances he 
returned to Erskine, also through Sheridan as the 
channel, not indeed a negative, but a very discouraging 
reply.^ Erskine was determined at all events not to 
lose the Prince's favour, and thus impelled he said No 
to Addington. 

Exactly similar was the case of Sheridan himself. It 
is certain, says Thomas Moore as his biographer, that a 
proposal of ofiBce was made to him at this time ; but 
Sheridan was even much more an intimate of Carlton 
House than Erskine, and as soon as he ascertained tiie 
Prince's bias, there could be no doubt of his reply. 

When Sheridan thus laid aside all hopes from a new 
chief, he reverted as speedily as possible to the allegi- 
ance of his old one. It is amusing to find Fox write to 
Grey as follows, the date of this letter being St. Ann's, 
April 6, 1804 :— " Sheridan has been here, and I judge 
is very desirous of getting right again, but you will 
easily believe my dependence on him is not very firm." 

Fox himself was now in thorough opposition. His 
language about Addington, in his familiar letters, had 
grown to be most bitter and most hostile. Thus he 
writes to Grey : — " Let us first get rid of the Doctor ! — 
is my first principle of action, in which I reckon j^ou as 
concurring with me as much as any one." And again, 

® Moore's Life of Sheridan, vol. ii. p. 323. 



to Lonl Laiiflerciale : — " The Dwtor has exceeded, if 
possible, all his former lies in wliat he said about the 
Bnssian business. It is, I own, an ignoble chase ; but I 
should have great pleasure in hunting down this vile 
fellow." "^ Mr, Fox did not then foresee that within two 
years of that date this " vile fellow " would become his 
own colleague in the Cabinet. 

At nearly the same period, the Earl of Moira, who 
WBS residing at Edinburgh as Commander of the Forces 
in Scotland, and who then stood foremost in the favour 
of the Prince of Wales, had a long and interesting con- 
versation on the state of public aflaira with the Lord 
Advocate, Mr. Charles Hope* Hereupon the Lord Ad- 
vocate addressed the following letter, marked " Confi- 
dential," to his friend and kinsman, Henry Dundas, 
Lord Melville : — 

" My DEAB Lord, *' Edinburgh, March 22, 1804. 

" Lord Moh'a returned yesterday, and I had a 
card from liim early this morning ; in consequence of 
which I waited upon him this forenoon, and had a very 
long and iinresei*ved conversation with him, the parti- 
culars of which, till he could have a pei-sonal interview 
with you, he desired me to commnniwxte. 

*' Firsts as to the King. He assrured me that he is 
still far from well in point of mind, occasionally col- 
lected, but for the much greater part of the day very 
incoherent, and at times still very violent ; so much so, 
tliat within this week, on their not letting the Duke of 
York see him, according t<3 promise, he was so out- 
rageous that tliey were obliged to put him to bed, and 

7 Letters of April 13 and March 25, 1804. 


strap him down. He is very anxious to see the Duke, 
but the physicians are against it. He at first refused 
to see the Chancellor, unless they would allow him to 
see the Duke also. They agreed, but after his inter- 
view with the Chancellor he was so agitated that they 
would not let him see the Duke. 

" They pacified him then, and fixed on last Thursday 
for an interview between them ; but when Thursday 
came they broke faith with him, which occasioned the 
return of mania which I have mentioned. 

"In shorty he is in that state that he cannot bear 
anything to agitate or contradict him, and therefore, 
although at times collected, remains substantially unfit 
for business. He says that Ministers, or rather Mr. 
Addington, are following a most extraordinary game; 
that they will not make a Eegency, but that their in- 
tention is at present to get the King down to Kew as 
soon as possible (for which purpose they are finishing 
and furnishing the new palace as fast as possible), and 
when there, to get him to sign a Council of Eegency, 
proceeding on the narrative that the fatigue of business 
is too much for his health at present, and therefore that 
he devolves the ordinary administration of government 
on this Council, with instructions to refer to him only 
on extraordinary occasions. The Prince to be a member 
of this Council, which, in other respects, is of course to 
be composed of Mr. Addington and his friends. The 
Prince, iiowever, has resolved not to have anything to 
do with such a Council, and Lord Moira added that he 
does not beKeve that it is agreeable to the Queen. He 
says that the discontent in London is prodigious; the 
very people who are voting with Mr. Addington make 
no secret that they do it only because, in the present 
state of things, they know not what else to do. 

" Now as to the Prince. Lord Moira told me that 




His Koyal Higliiios^ had very early sent a message to 
Mr. Fox and Jlr, Grey, that ho was very sensible of 
their attachment, but that in the event of his govern- 
ment either as King or Regent, as lie intended to thrf>w 
himself entirely into Lord Moira'a hands, he did not 
think it rig^ht, in his absence, to see either of them, that 
Lord Jfoira miglit not siippnjse that he had formed any 
opinion, or even taken up any impression, without con- 
sulting him. That the Prince had accordingly thrown 
himself upon him for advice, which Lord Moira g»ve 
himj m nearly as I can recollect, to tlie following pur- 
pose: — 

'* * That your Royal Highness must see, in common 
with tlie whole countiy, that the present Minifttry are 
utterly incapable of governing the country, or even of 
perceiving, to it^ full extent, the critical situation in 
which it is plaecKl ; that nothing can save the country 
but the union of all the talent in it, so as to ensure not 
only vigour in our councils, but perfect confidence and 
unanimity in the people, and an eflcctual and decisive 
co-operation on the pail of some of the great continental 

" * Before, therefore, I can go further, or can judge 
whether I can be of use to your Royal Highness, have 
you the magnaniinity and good sense to lay aside any 
feeling of estrangement, right or wi'ung, whi(*h you may 
entertain against the late Jlmisters, and to stretch forth 
your hand to jMj\ Pitt and Lord j\lekille, and call on 
them to assist you in the government of the country in 
these anxious times ? * He said, the Prince wanted at 
first to pany the question, by sapng that Mr. Pitt would 
not act under Lord Moim, and that no other man should 
be his Minister ; but Lord Moira answered, * First let 
me know your Royal Highnesses feelings, without which 
it is mmecessarv to talk of Mr. Pitt's.' The Prince still 


parried him by saying that Mr. Pitt and Mr. Fox would 
not act together. But Lord Moira still insisting for an 
answer, the Prince asked him, *D6 you really think 
this necessary for the good of the country, and for the 
honour of my government ? ' Lord Moira answered him 
that he did ; that he considered Mr. Htt's co-operation 
as essential ; and that the Prince's only chance for go* 
veming the country without Mr. Pitt, with any degree 
of comfort, was at least to satisfy tho public that the 
refusal came from Mr. Pitt, and not from His Eoyal 
Highness. *Then,' said the Prince, *I submit myself 
entirely to your opinion;' but added that he, Lofd 
Moira, must still be his Minister, and that he was sore 
Mr. Pitt would neyer act in a subordinate situation. 
Lord Moira answered, * Whatever situation your Boyal 
Highness may intend for me, Mr. Pitt shall not feel 
himself subordinate; he never can be subordinate in 
any Cabinet; and on the footing of the broad union 
which I propose, I shall consider my business in the 
Cabinet to be to moderate between Mr. Pitt and Mr. 

" * Well, then,' said the Prince, * bring this about ; 
but I still doubt that the materials will be too dis- 
cordant.' Lord Moira replied that the pressure of the 
moment would, he was sure, make them go on cordially 
as long as the necessity lasted ; after that they might 
quarrel, as other administrations had done, without 
much harm to the coxmtry. Thus the conversation 
with the Prince ended ; and Lord Moira says that he 
left him perfectly made up to the resolution of endea- 
vouring to form the broadest administration possible, 
without reference to former prejudices or parties. He 
told me that he had not any channel in London, that 
he was quite satisfied with, through which he could 
sound Mr. Pitt on the subject ; and I take it for granted, 




by his expressly saying tlmt I was at liberty to eommu- 
nieate this to you, that lie trusts to you to do so. But I 
think you ouglit Bot to do it on thi8 letter alone, as you 
will so soon have an opportunity of hearing more accu- 
rately, from his own mouth, those particulars which I 
have strictly endeavoured to detail On other points, 
he says that a war with Spain is now unavoidable, and 
on the expectation and belief that the Spanish Heet is 
immediately coming out to join that of France that an 
expedition, on a great scale, is preparing against some 
of the Spanish settlements. He adds that the Prince 
and the Duke, he trusts, will soon be cordiai 

" I will not mix my own reflections with the above 
detail, especially as I hope it w^ill induce you not to 
postpone your return here longer than is ahsolutidy 

" Ever, my dear Lord, yom*s faithiidly, 


Lord Melville being then, it seems, further north — 
namely, at Dunira in Perthshire — coramnnicated by 
letter to Sir. Pitt the information which he had thus re- 
ceived from the Lord Advocate, In reply to his letter, 
Mr. Pitt wrote the following masterly view of the chief 
political considerations at that time :— 

•* York Place, March 29, 1804. 

" Dear Lord Melville, 

" Before I received your letter I had determined 
to write to you fully on my viovv of the present state of 
affairs previous to my leaving to\\TQ, which I shall do to- 
morrow. I will now^ begin with f ^ord Moira's letter. I 
camiot help thinking that lils infurmation respecting the 
King's health has been by no means correct, though I 

140 LIFE OF PITT. Chap. XXXyil. 

have no doubt he believes it to be so. All the accounts 
which have reached Carlton House, or at least (between 
ourselves) which have come from thence, have uniformly 
represented the King's state as worse than it in truth 
has been, and cannot be reasoned upon without great 
allowance. I do not however mean to say that I con- 
sider a speedy and complete recovery as by any means 
certain ; and I am afraid, although things looked more 
favourably than Lord Moira supposes at the dates he 
refers to, that within these few days the progress has 
been materially interrupted. Under these circumstances 
it is undoubtedly still possible that a Kegency (for a 
shorter or longer time) may become inevitable ; and 
though I entertain a very strong hope that it will not 
happen, it is right for public men to be prepared for 
such an event. 

" With respect to the Prince's intentions, I must also 
say to you confidentially that I fear no very certain de- 
pendence is to be placed on any language which he 
holds. The conversation which Lord Moira reports to 
have passed with himself is certainly at variance with 
the assurances which I have good reason to believe the 
Prince has held out to other quarters. He has certainly 
seen both Fox and .Grey. The former, I have good 
reason to believe, understands that in the event of the 
Prince having the Government in his hands, it is by his 
(Fox's) advice that he would be guided ; and I believe 
too that his advice is likely to be to apply to me with a 
view of forming a strong and comprehensive Govern- 

" Having said thus much to explain to you why I am 
not disposed to rely too much on any professions till the 
moment for actual decision arrives, I have no hesitation 
in stating that I quite agree with you in thinking that 
nothing could be so creditable for the Prince, or so 




aseM to the public, as his really and sincerely acting 
on the idea of forming such a Govenmient as I have 
stated. But with respect to the possibility of carrj-ing 
it into eflect, as far as I am concerned, you will not, I 
think, wonder at my saying that I do not see how, 

mder any circumstances, 1 can creditably or usefully 
consent to take part in any Government without being 
at the head of it ; and I should be very sorry that either 
Lord Moira, or, through himj the Prince, should suppose 
at there is any chance of my changing my opinion on 
' this point, 

« There is another point of more delicacy and diffi- 
culty on which I can scarce form my decision before- 
hand, because it must depend »o much on the precise 
circumstances of the moment. Much as I wish a strong 
Govemmont^ and prepared as I am for that jjurpose to 
put aside the recollection of former difierences, il" a 
cordial union can be formed on public grounds for the 
future, I still should feel a great doubt whether it would 
be right during the King's illness, and while any reason- 
able chance exists of his recovery, to form any con- 
nexion which might preclude him from a fair option in 
forming an administration, wlienever he might resume 
the exercise of his authority. This doubt rests, as you 
will perceive, entirely on the feeling of what is due to 
the Iving ; and strong as that motive is, I am neverthe- 
less aware that there may be cases in which considera- 
tions of public safety will perhaps not allow of its being 
jaelded to beyond a ceHain point. From what I hare 
now said you will see exactly the state of my nihid on 
the whole of this subject, and will be enabled, in con- 
versing with Lord Moira, to give him your opinion (so 
far as you may think it right to do so) of what would be 
my pixjbable line of conduct. 

** I msh now to call your attention to the other (and 


I hope the more probable) alternative of the King-s 
speedy recovery. In that event I am strongly confirmed 
in the opinion that the present Government cannot last 
for any length of time, and still more so in the foil con- 
viction that every week for which its existence may be 
protracted will be attended ydih increased danger to the 
country. I have therefore satisfied myself that the time 
is near at hand at which, if a change does not originate 
from the Ministers themselves or from the King, I can 
no longer be justified in not publicly declaring my 
opinion, and endeavouring by Parliamentary measures 
to give it effect. My present notion therefore is to 
take the first moment after the present Eecess, at 
which the state of the King's health will admit of such 
a step, to write a letter to His Majesty stating to him 
the grounds of my opinion, explaining the dangers 
which I think threaten his Crown and his people from 
the continuance of his present Government, and repre- 
senting to him the urgent necessity of a speedy change. 
From what I have already said in a former part of this 
letter, you will not be surprised at my saying that the 
change to which I should point as most beneficial would 
be one which would introduce precisely the same de- 
scription of Government as I think desirable m the 
other event of a Eegency. From various considerations^ 
however, and still more from this last illness, I feel that 
a proposal to take into a share in his councils persons 
against whom he has long entertained such strong and 
natural objections ought never to be made to hkn, but 
in such a manner as to leave him a free option, and to 
convince him that if he cannot be sincerely convinced 
of its expediency, there is not a wish to force it upon 
him. I should therefore, at the same time, let His 
Majesty understand distinctly, that if, after considering 
the subject, he resolved to exclude the friends both of 




Fox and Lord GreuviUe* Imt wished to call uixni 
10 to form a Government witbout tliem, I should t>e 
ready to do so, as well as I conld, from among my o^vn 
immediate friends, united with the most capable and 
unexeeptionahle persons of tlie present Govemment; 
but of course excluding many of them, and abore all, 
Addingt«jn liimself, and Lord St. Vincent. 

** From what we both know of the King's character, 
I am persuaded this manner of bringing the subject 
before him is more likely than any other to bring him 
to consider fairly the advantages which I am sure he 
personally woidd derive for the remainder of his reign 
in an equal degree with the country from the extinction 
of parties, and the establishment of a Govemment 
uniting all the weight and talents of the day, and 
capable of commanding respect and confidence both at 
home and abroad. 

" Whatever might be the success of this measure, 
with a view either to the more extended or narrower 
plan of Government, I should liave acquitted myself of 
my duty to the King ; and if it produces no efieet^ I 
shonkl then have no hesitation in taking such gi'ound 
in Parliament as would he most likely to attain the 
object. You vrill have seen by the division on my 
Naval motion, that a good deal has been already done 
to shake the Government, and I have no doubt that on 
any stroug question respecting the PubUc Defence, we 
should be able after Easter to produce much greater 
numbers. Fox is taking steps to muster all his friends, 
of whom not more than five-and-twenty voted on that 
occasion. On any future trial of strength, I have no 
doubt of their being between sixty and seventy, and he 
is certainly prepared to support a question of the nature 

have stated, under the full knowledge that if the 

isujt produces the removal of the present Govermuont, 


I hold myself at full liberty to form a new one without 
reference to him. Of my own friends many were also 
absent on the former vote, whose attendance may be 
easily ensured for the next K in addition to this, we 
procure, as I think probable, some considerable strength 
from Ireland, and if upon what I have stated you tiiink 
it possible to collect a large proportion of our friends 
from your part of the world, I entertain very little 
doubt that the success of our effort would be nearly 
certain. I am aware that with the important local 
duties, which belong at this time to persons of weight 
and property in Scotland, it is more diflScult than usual 
to bring them from their homes. But I think their 
attendance would not be required here for more than 
ten days, or at most a fortnight, as the fate of two or 
three motions must be decisive one way or other ; and 
a short absence for such a purpose would perhaps be the 
most effectual way of consulting the security both of 
Scotland and every other part of the empire. 

" You will be the best judge what is the earliest 
day on which any attendance from Scotland could be 
reckoned upon. It would be very desirable that it 
should not be later than the 18th, or at farthest the 
20th of next month. 

" I shall naturally be very desirous of hearing your 
sentiments on the whole of this subject; and though 
the contents of this letter are of course of the most 
secret nature, there is no part of it which I should not 
be very glad that you should show in confidence to the 
Ihike of Buccleuch and the Lord Advocate. 

" Ever sincerely and affectionately yours, 

" W. Pitt." 

Mr. Pitt, as he announces in his letter to Lord 
Melville, left town next day, that is on the 30th of 




March, for Walmer Castle. There in a short time hifl 
correBpondence was resumed. But for the most part it 
^vas not earned on by the post, ** I shall continue " — 
80 says Lord Melville in his letter to Pitt of the 3rd — 
**I shall continue to address you through i\Jexander 
Hope's conveyance, as I remember our friend Bathurst 
very strongly hinted to me last year to beware of the 
Post Office, when you and I had occasion to correspond 
on critical points or in critical times," 

Mn PiU to Lord MelvUk. 

" Walmer Castle, April 11, 1804. 
"Deae Lord Melville, 

** I have received your letters of the 2nd, 3rd, 
4th, 5th, and 6th, and am much obliged to you for the 
ample and satisfactory communication they contain* I 
was very happy to learn from the first of them that you 
concur so completely in the line of conduct which I 
stated to you, 

** 1 perfectly agree in the sentiments you express in 
your letter of the 3rd, respectiug the propriety of a full 
explauation of futm-e intentions to Lord Grenville and 
Ml*. Fox, in the event of being obliged to form a naiTOw 
Government; and enough hm been said already (to one 
directly, and through pretty certain channels to the 
other) to prepare them for receiving it 

** The letters of the 4th and 5th relate to the probable 
accession of strength from Scotch Members* I have 
desired William Dundas to take the steps you recom- 
mend respecting General Mackenzie and 8ir Jam^-s 
Montgomery, and I mean to WTite to-day to Lord 
Dalkeith. From the account you give of Sir James 
Grant's situation, I cannot by any means bring myself 

VOL, ly. H 


to wish that his son should incur the risk of giving us a 
vote which, in the event (improbable as it is) of the 
Government standing its ground, might lead to such 
serious consequences to his &mily. 

" In another letter of the 4th, you express a curiosity 
to know which of the present Ministers I had looked to 
as feeling the insufficiency of the present Government, 
and wishing my return to office. The Duke of Portland 
was certainly one of the foremost in my contemplation. 
Sentiments on his part, similar to those conveyed in his 
letter to you, have reached me from several authentic 
channels : and I really believe that he has been induced 
to remain so long in his situation only from personal 
regard to the King, and the hope of being better enabled 
to watch the moment of disposing his mind to a change. 
In addition to this I have had strong grounds to believe 
that the same sentiment has been strongly felt by the 
Chancellor, my brother, Lord Castlereagh, Yorke, and 
Lord Hobart ; I believe too by Lord Hawkesbury, but 
of him I have not heard it so pointedly. Of them the 
Chancellor was the person whom I thought most likely 
to give effect to his opinion. But though I have no 
reason, from anything I have observed, since I first 
wrote to you, to doubt the existence of this disposition 
in all the persons I have enumerated, and in some of 
principal weight out of the Cabinet, I have less expec- 
tation than I had, of its leading to any practical result 
I know recently from what seems good authority, that 
Addington's resolution is taken not to retire unless 
forced to it ; and I believe his colleagues wiU think 
themselves too much committed to him, not to support 
him in that determination, however they may in their 
own minds disapprove of it. If I am right in this sup- 
position, it will remain only to see what effect may- be 
produced by my communication to the King. I do not 




expect much advantage from it beyond that of repre- 
senting my conduct to His Majesty in its true light, and 
having myself the satisfaction of having endeavonred 
as far as depends upon me to save him from the dia- 
quietude and anxiety of seeing his Government shaken, 
if not displaced, by a strong Parliamentary opposition, 

**Thi3 step, however, I cannot yet take, and must 
wait till his recovery is more confirmed. By the 
accounts I had yesterday I have no doubt that he is now 
getting quite well, and that official business begins to 
be submitted to him as usual; but I think another 
week at least must elapse, before I can be justified in 
writing to him on so delicate a points Whenever I take 
the step, you shall have a copy of my letter. 

" In the mean time questions must occur probably in 
next week, on which I must take part — as I think it 
absolutely necessary to oppose Yorkers Bill for sus- 
pending the completion of tlie Army of Reserve ; con- 
ceiving as I do, and in which I know I agree with you, 
that that measure properly modified, may make the 
foundation of the most eflectual permanent mode of 
augmenting and maintaining the regular Army, and 
form in itself a most important branch of our future 
military system. I mean for this purpose to return to 
t4}wn, Monday or Tuesday, in next week. Our principal 
push must probably be made about the Monday follow- 
ing, that is the 23rd, and on some one or two days 
more, between that and the 30th ; after which, if the 
contest is not successful, I shall return hither to my 
Volunteers, and wait the issue of the contest of another 
kind, in which we must probably be engaged before the 
summer is over. Under these circumstances the more 
you can hasten the departure of such of our friends as 
are not yet set out, the better, 

*' I have said nothing in answer to that part of your 

H 2 

148 LIFE OF PITT* Chap. XXXX^n. 

letter which relates to the Lord Advocate's situation, 
because you will easily conceive that your reasoning 
and the decision upon it are perfectly satisfactory. The 
account of your last conversation with Lord Moira 
reached me this morning, and requires no particular 
observation. He seems to have been very fair and 
candid, and as explicit as could be expected. 

" Ever sincerely and affectionately yours, 

"W.Pitt." ; 

Meanwhile the Easter holidays having passed, Par- 
liament had met again on the 5th of ApriL On Monday 
the 16th Mr. Pitt returned from Walmer Castle, and 
on the same evening took part in the debates of the 
House of Commons; the question being the Third 
Reading of the Bill for the Augmentation of the Irish 
Militia. Mr. Pitt, as also Mr. Fox, spoke against it as 
inadequate to the national defence ; and in the division 
which ensued the Government had a majority of only 21^ 
the numbers being. 

For the Bill 128 

Against it 107 

Majority 21 

Mr. Pitt to Lord Melville. 

" York Place, Tuesday, April 17, 1804. 
" Deab Lord Melville, 

" On arriving in town yesterday just before the 
House met, I learnt circumstances which leave no doubl 
that Government has taken very serious alarnu [Fhat 




alarm will not have been diminished by the di™ion of 
yesterday ; and I am much inclined to think that in a 
few days they must capitulate. If not, I am more and 
more convinced that in the course of next week they 
mil be either beat on a division, or ran so near as to 
prove the impossibDlty of theii* standing. 

** On looking into the state of the House of Lords, 
we find that we can probably make almost as strong an 
impression there as in the House of Commons ; and it is 
nearly settled that some question t\i11 be moved in the 
Lordrf, on Thui-sday se'miight, of a nature to try our 
strength to advantage. Lord Stafford, I believe, will 
move it. The importance of collecting all our strength 
on that occasion wUl, I hope, induce you to reconsider 
yoTU- intentions with respect to yourself. While the 
discussion was likely to be confined to the House of 
Commons, any object there might perhaps be gained 
by the appearance of the recruits you had sent us, but 
in the House of Lords your personal presence will be 
highly materia]. 

"Independent, however, of all questions of Parlia- 
mentary strength, I am for still stronger reasons most 
anxious for your presence. It is not only in the event 
of my being compelled to make a narrow Government 
that I should feel your assistance indispensable. But 
even if we succeed in forming one as strong and com* 
prehensive as we wish, I see no possible reason (public 
or private) why you should not return to a seat in the 
Cabinet, with the Board of Control, and the manage- 
ment of Scotland. Neither of these can be a burden to 
you, or interfere with your plana of health and comfort 
for a large part of the year. In short, on every 
account, I am most anxious to have you on the spot, 
and earnestly beg you, if possible, to set out imme- 


" I will send you some blank proxies by to-morrow's 
post, to be filled up by any Peer you can apply to, who 
cannot personally attend You can hardly at any rate 
set out before that letter reaches, but if you should, pray 
leave directions with some one to open it. 
" In great haste, 

" Ever sincerely yours, 

" W. Pitt. 

" The crisis seems so near, that Hope writes to the 
Advocate to urge his coming up if possible. He clearly 
should not resign till he comes to London, and it may 
then be unnecessary." 

Mr. Pitt to Lord Melville. 

" York Place, Wednesday, April 18, 1804. 
" Deab Lobd Melville, 

" Friday se'nnight is the day now fixed for Lord 
Stafford's motion in the House of Lords, and he means 
to give notice to-morrow. You will, I hope, receive by 
this post some blank proxies, and you will be able to 
judge who there are in Scotland whom you can prevail 
upon to make use of them. As it will be uncertain 
what Peers may be at liberty to receive them, it will be 
desirable to get them signed, leaving a blank for the 
persons to whom they are to be entrusted. 

" I have found it convenient, with a view to a full 
attendance, to defer my opposition to Yorke's Bill from 
to-day, when it is to be read a second time, till Friday, 
when it will be reported. We shall, I am persuaded, 
have a very strong division then, and another on 
Monday, when Fox is to move for a Committee of the 
whole House, to consider of the state of defence. All 
this course may, however, very probably become unne- 

I«04^ LIFE OP PITT. 151 

cessary, as the expectation I expressed to you yesterday 
has been strongly confirmed by what I have heard 
since; and I have great reason to think it probable 
that I shall be called upon, from the only proper quarter, 
to explain fully my sentiments before tiie end of the 

" I hope any other letter I may wish to send will find 
you on the road, and if I have anything material to 
say, I will endeavour to find out where it will be most 
likely to meet you. 

" Ever yours affectionately, 

« W. P." 

The expectations hinted at by Mr. Pitt in this last 
paragraph are best elucidated by a letter from Lord 
Grenville, which the Duke of Buckingham has pub* 
lished. That letter is of great historical value as the 
sole remaining record, so far as I am aware, of the com- 
munication which it details. 

Lord Ghrenville to the Marquis of Buckingham, 

" AprH 19, 1804. 

** Yesterday Pitt wrote to desire me to call upon him, 
which was for the purpose of telling me that Aldington, 
since the division of Monday, had sent a message to him 
to desire to know whether he was willing to state, 
throu^ any common friend, what his opinions were as 
to the present state of things, and the steps to be taken 
for carrying on the King's affiEiirs. Pitt's answer was, 
that neither through a common friend, nor in any 
other mode, could he make any such statement to Mr. 
Addington, or for his information ; but that if the Kipg 
thought proper to signify to him through any person 
with whom he could hold such communication his com- 


mands to that effect, it would be his duty to state to 
such person, and for His Majesty's information, his 
unreserred opinion as to the steps which ought to be 
taken for the establishment of a new Government. The 
reply to this was, that Mr. Addington acquiesced in this 
decision, and was to see His Majesty yesterday, or to- 
day — I am not quite sure which — for the purpose of 
submitting to His Majesty his humble advice, that Hig 
Majesty should, without delay, commission the Chan- 
cellor to see Mr. Pitt, and to receive from him the 
communication of his opinion on the present state of 

" This has been communicated by Pitt to Fox ; and it 
has been farther explained both to him and me, that 
although Pitt does not pledge himself not to obey the 
commands he may receive for attempting to form an ex- 
clusive Government, yet that his earnest endeavour will 
be used for his own sake, as well as for that of the King 
and the country, to induce His Majesty to authorize him 
to converse with Fox and me on the means of forming 
an united Government. 

" Here the matter now rests, and in the mean time it 
is determined on all hands to be indispensably necessary 
that the course in Parliament which has produced this 
tardy and reluctant step should be pursued without 
reference to it. Pitt opposes Yorke's Bill on Friday. 
Fox's motion is to come on next Monday ; and to-day 
Lord Stafford gives notice of a similar motion for Friday 
se'nnight in the House of Lords. There is great reason 
to think that our divisions will be strong indeed on all 
these questions. K you should not be in town before 
Friday, pray do not forget to return me your proxy. . . 




Til is letter seems to me to cast a wholly now light on 
Lord Eldon's coiidiict. The vehement censures upon it 
by Lord Brougham and Dean Pellew, written before 
this letter was made public, and even then, 1 think, not 
mrranted, can no longer be sustained. It was from 
''Mr, Addington himself that the Chancellor received 
authority to become the channel of communication 
reen the King and Blr, Pitt. That communication 
Tonce opened, and once sanctioned by the King, could not 
be again arrested or hiid aside unless at His Majesty^s 
Ipleasiu-e, Its propriety cannot be deemed dependent 
on its issue* If Mn Addington was at the close disap- 
pointed and angry^ — if, as he told Mr. Abbot, ho hud 
an altercation on this subject with the Chancellor in 
le last Cabinet which he ever held — we may allow for 
lis disappointment, but need not partake in his anger. 
We may rather concur with a judicious critic in the 
fj Edinbiu'gh Eeview/ often supposed to bo Sir Georgo 
iConiewall Lewis. With a most upright spirit, such as 
tliat writer ever shows, he has given judgment as follows 
r on the question :- — ** There seems no ground for Lord 
Ji-ougham's view that tliis communication through Lord 
Sldon was an intrigue." ® 

On the day before Mr. Fox's intended motion, the 
orrespondence with the Chancellor was accordingly 

* Edmburgh Review, Ko. ccxvii. | Brougbiim s Uiatoricftl Sketches of 
kJan. 1858), p» 157. See uLso Lord | StattsmeD, voL i. p. 2U7. 

H 3 


Mr. Pitt to Lord Mdon. 

" York Place, Sunday, April 22, 1804. 
" My deab Lobd, 

. ** Under the present peculiar circunigtances, I 
trust your Lordship will forgive my taking the liberty 
of requesting you to take charge of the enclosed letter 
to the King. Its object is to convey to His Majesty, as 
a mark of respect, a previous intimation of the senti- 
ments which I may find it necessary to avow in Parlia- 
ment, and at the same time an assurance, with respect 
to my own personal intentions, which I might perhaps 
not be justified in ofiering, uncalled for, under any 
other circumstances, but which you will see my motive 
for not withholding at present. I certainly feel very 
anxious that this letter should be put into "His Majesty's 
hands, if it can with propriety, before the discussion of 
to-morrow ; but having no means of forming myself any 
sufficient judgment on that point, my wish is to refer it 
entirely to your Lordship's discretion, being ftdly per^ 
suaded that you will feel the importance of makiug the 
communication with as little delay as the nature of the 
case will admit I shall enclose my letter, unsealed, 
for your inspection, knowing that you will allow me, in 
doing so, to request that you will not communicate its 
contents to any one but the King himself. I am the 
more anxious that you should see what I have written, 
because I cannot think of asking you to undertake to 
be the bearer of a letter expressing sentiments so adverse 
to the Government with which you are acting, without 
giving you the previous opportunity of knowing in what 
manner those sentiments are stated. 

" Believe me, &c., 

" W. Pitt." 

1804. LIFE OF PITT. 155 

Lord Eldm to Mr. Pitt. 

" Sunday night (April 22, 1804). 
"My deab Sib, 

" I received your letter, but not till after my 
interview of this day with His Majesty was concluded. 

And till he has had the repose of a night, and 

I have learnt the effect of to-morrow's proceedings on 
Tuesday morning, I cannot, according to my notions of 
duty to him, take any step which must affect him so 
materially as the communication of your opinions will, 
and ought to affect him. 

" I return the enclosed to you. The language of it 
is conceived under the notion that the delivery of it 
may precede a debate, which it may not precede if 
that debate takes place to-morrow. If, notwithstand- 
ing this observation, you wish it should be in my hands, 
to act as such discretion as I may have may dictate, 
pray return it to me. If you wish to alter it, as that 
which should be delivered to His Majesty after such 
debate, you will probably feel a wish to vary the terms 
of it accordingly. 

" It is impossible ifor me not to be aware that, in deli- 
teriiig any such paper to His Majesty, much may be, 
properly or improperly, observed upon my conduct 
My judgment is that. I ought to convey to His Majesty 
your sentiments as those of a person long in his ser- 
vice, and most deservedly so 

"I beg distinctly to say that the delivery of the 
letter admits nothing. I will give His Majesty an 
honest opinion for and against myself and others. 

" I am, dear Sir, &c., 


156 liIPE OF PITT, Chap. XXXVII. 

Mr. Pitt to Lord Mdon, 

** York Place, Sunday night, 
" My DEAB Lobd, April 22, 1804. 

*^ I have no hesitation in availing myself of your 
permission to return into your hands my letter to the 
King. My wish is to leave it entirely to your discre- 
tion, whether it can be delivered before the debate 
to-morrow. If not, I anxiously wish that it should be 
known to His Majesty, in due time, that it was depo- 
sited with you, in order that it should be so delivered, 
if you should judge that it could with propriety, 
" I am, my dear Lord, &c., 

"W, Pitt." 

This letter and the following ones will be found in the 
Appendix to this volume. The Chancellor did not place 
it in the King's hands until the 27th of the month* 

Meanwhile the debates in both Houses had been 
proceeding. In the Lords, there had been, on the 19th 
of April, a motion by the Earl of Carlisle for certain 
papers respecting the war in India, which was carried 
against Ministers by a majority of one, the numbers 
being : — 

Contents 31 

Non-Oontents .30 

Majority 1 

And on the same evening, upon the Second Beading of 
the Irish Militia Offer Bill, the Opposition mustered 
49 against 77 votes. Lord Malmesbury, in his Diary, 
and according to the notions of that day, speaks of the 




Ministers in the House of Lords as being " very nearly 

Another and more important party motion on the 
State of the Nation was announced for the 30th by 
Lord Stafford, This was the same person whom I have 
mentioned as Earl Gower, and Ambassador to Paris in 
1792, and who in 1803 had succeeded his father as 
second Marquis, 

In the Commons, the next trial of strength was 
expected to take place on IStonday, the 23rd, when 
Mr, Fox had given notice that he would move to refer 
the several Bills for the defence of the country to a 
Committee of the whole Iluuse, — in other words, a vote 
of want of confidence in Ministers. An anxious whip 
was made by both parties, and persons unconnected 
with either felt no little perplexity as to the course they 
should pursue. Thus writes Mr. Wilberforce, in his 
Diary, April IS, ISO-i: — **I am out of spirits and 
doubtful about the path of duty in these political 
battles. I cannot help regretting that Addington's 
temperance and conciliation should not be connected 
with more vigour. Lord, direct me right, and let me 
preserve an easy mind resigned to Thee and fixed on 
Thy favour 1" 

Mr. Fox, according to his notice, brought on his 
motion upon the 23rA The debate to which it gave 
rise continued until four in the morning. Mr. Wilber- 
force, after many conscientious doubts, ended by voting 
on the Opposition side. " Pitt able, but too strong," 
says he, in his account of the speeches. But instead of 
giving any extracts from Pitt's address^ I shall rather 

158 LIFE OF PITT, Chap. XXXVn. 

here insert a full description of it, as derived from 
another most intelligent hearer. 

Mr. Francis Homer to Ma father. 

" My dear Sir, " London, April 24, 1804. 

"Ton wiU not get yesterday's newspaper, in 
consequence of my going down to Westminster before it 
arrived. I was at the door of the House by half-past 
eight ; so that we had a pretty good seat of it, till three 
next morning. But we were fully rewarded. I have 
not read the report in the Morning Chronicle ; but if it 
is no better than they have been of late, you will receive 
but a feeble impression of the debate. Fox's opening 
speech was not eloquent ; on the contrary, slovenly as 
to manner, and languid. Probably from an express in- 
tention to restrain himself on personal topics, that he 
might not anticipate Pitt in this respect, he did not 
allude to Ministers, but confined himself to the inade- 
quacy of the present arrangements for national defence, 
and the means of improving them into a permanent 
system by a better plan of recruiting, and by regula- 
tions for military exercises among the peasantry. All 
the substance of his speech was excellent. Pitt gave 
us both substance and manner, as a debater of the 
highest powers ; most explicit in his declaration against 
Ministers, which he delivered, however, as if at last 
after much consideration and reluctance; but he en- 
forced it with a good deal of grave vehement decla-, 
mation in his way, and some touches of that bitter,' 
freezing sarcasm, which everybody agrees is his most; 
original talent, and appears indeed most natural to him. 
His speech was very argumentative and full of details ; 
throughout the impression he left was — and he dis- 


1804, LIFE OP FITT. 159 

[goised very snccessfully his anxiety to make thia 
impression — tliat every measure Goyeniment had 
adopted for the national defence origmated from his 

leuggestion, which they had marred, however, by adopt- 

I ing them imperfectly, and canying them still worse into 

! execution. 

" One feature of the debate I must, not forget — the 

[ fulsome adulation paid by Tiemey and the Attorney- 

I General to Pitt ; the latter of whom said that no event 

' would be more agreeable to the country thau hie return 

to power: — a very strange expression to use in such 


" Love to my mother and sisters, &c, 

"Fra. Hobner;* 

In the ilivision which ensued that evening, the num- 
bers were : — 

For Mr, Fox s motion ... 204 
Against it ...... . 25(i 

Majority for Jlinistens . . 52 

tCbese numbers, which at some other periods in our 
I iiistory would have been celebrated as a great triumph 
[to tJie Government J were in 1804, after a Jlinistry ac- 
customed to large majorities, looked upon as little short 
of a defeat. 

Nevertheless Addington hoped to maintain hm 
ound. But only two days after his majority of 52 
the House of Commons, the attack upon him was 
Bnewed. On Wednesday the 25th, and on the Order 
of the day to go into Committee on the Army of Reserve 


Suspension Bill, Pitt rose, and, in a speech of great 
eloquence and force, inveighed not only against some 
parts of this particular measure, but against the general 
system of defence pursued by Addington. Nor was he 
satisfied with objections merely ; he further stated very 
clearly the general principles of the system which he 
desired to propose. Again did Fox speak, again did 
Wilberforce vote upon the same side ; and, in the divi- 
sion which followed, the Ministerial majority dwindled 
from 52 to 37, the numbers being : — 

For the motion 240 

Against it 203 

Majority for Ministers • 37 

In this last division, and in that upon the 23rd, it 
is noted by Speaker Abbot, in his Diary, that Fox's 
friends showed themselves very doubtful of deriving 
any personal benefit from their co-operation with 
Pitt. Mr. Courtenay said: "We are the pioneers 
digging the foundations, but Mr. Pitt will be the 
architect to build the house, and to inhabit it." But 
considerations thus merely selfish did not sway Mr. Fox 

Next morning, the 26th, Addington reviewed his 
whole position. He looked back to his diminishing 
majorities in the House of Commons; he looked for- 
ward to a similar result, or perhaps even to a defeat, on 
the closely impending motion of the Marquis of Staf- 
ford in the House of Lords, Upon the whole case, he 
came to the resolution to resign. That same afternoon 




he sought an andience of the King, and stated to His 
Majesty the decision at which he had arrived The 
King received the news with great concern and great 
reluctance. He ofiered to Addington to dissolve the 
Parliament and appeal to the people, or to take any 
other course which his Jlinister could suggest for his 
maintenance in powen A few days later, when admit 
ting the resignation aa inevitable, His Majesty ex- 
pressed an anxious wish to create him Earl of Banbury 
and Viscount Wallingford, and to settle an adefjuate 
pension both on himself and JJIrs. Addington. With a 
high sense of public duty, and most commendable per- 
sonal disinterestedness, Addington respectfully declined 
to avail himself of any of these favours. 

Addington did not^ however, notify his purpose to his 
colleagues until late in the evening of Sunday the 29th. 
Then a Cabinet being held, the resolution of resigning 
was officially taken and declared. 

On that same Sunday the correspondence between 
the Chancellor and Mr. Pitt had been continued. Tlie 
Chancellor wrote first to propose a pei-sonal interview, 
and 3Ir. Pitt had thus replied : — 

" York Place, Sunday, April 29, 1804. 

" My dkab Lord, 

" I am very much obliged to you for your letter, 
and must feel great satisfaction in learning the manner 
in which the assurances contained in my letter w'ere re- 
ceived, I shall be at home till half-past two to-day, 
and afterwards from five to six, and any time before six 
to-morrow, if you should find occasion to call here ; or 
if you prefer seeing me at any other hour, or at your 


house, you will have the goodness to let me know, 
and I shall be at your commands. 

" Sincerely md faithfully yours, 

" W. Pitt." 

In the forenoon of Monday the 30th, the Lord Chan- 

■ cellor called upon Mr. Pitt, by the King's orders, to 

inform him of Mr. Addington's impending resignation, 

and of His Majesty's desire to receive from Mr. Pitl^ in 

writiQg, the plan of a new administration. 

At the meeting of the House of Lords that evening, 
and in anticipation of the Marquis of Stafford, Lord 
Hawkesbury, one of the Secretaries of State, rose and 
said that "he had reasons of the highest and most 
weighty importance which induced him to request the 
noble Marquis to postpone his motion." With that re- 
quest, after some discussion. Lord Stafford complied, 
and the House adjourned. 

Li the House of Commons, the same evening, 
Addington brought forward the Budget for the year; 
following, in that respect, the precedent of Pitt, who, 
in 1801, had also brought forward his Budget after he 
had tendered his resignation. " Addington did it well," 
says Lord Malmesbury; "sixteen millions loan, and 
seven millions new taxes." When the Minister con- 
cluded his speech and sat down, a question of Mr. Fox 
elicited from him some expressions similar to those 
which Lord Hawkesbury had abeady used in the 
House of Lords. His language might be vague, but his 
meaning was well understood ; and the House, at his 
suggestion, readily agreed to postpone all disputed 
points before them. 



In this and in gome of the preceding chapters I have 
traced the course of Mr. Pitt frc»m the hour when he 
left the Cabinet to the hour when once again he stood 
upon its threshold* Within a recent date a whole flood 
of light has been poured upon his conduct daring tliese 
three years. His views all through that time are laid 
bare in abundant and authentic records. His moat 
familiar letters have been carefully preserved, his most 
secret conferences have been minutely noted down, and 
both have been sent to press without stint or reserve of 
any kind* No statesman perhaps was ever yet exposed 
to so searching an ordeaL Had he, in these years out of 
office, dipped into any intrigue unworthy of the public 
eye^ and intended for lasting concealment, his very 
celebrity would here have turned against his fama 
But^ on the contrary, as it appears to me, his career, 
even when thus closely pried into, stands forth unsullied 
and pure. In every transaction of the period, he will 
be found, as I conceive, to combine a lofty regard for 
the public interests with a nice sense of personal 
honour. Nay, I will even venture to assert that tha 
various charges which have formerly been brought 
against him in referring to this time, can only be sus- 
tained on imperfect inlbrmation, and will be found to 
wan© and fade away in exact proportion as more light / 
is brought to bear upon them. 




Pitt's views respecting a new administration transmitted to the King—: 
His Majesty's letter to Pitt — Pitt's reply — His interview with 
the Bang — Pitt undertakes the formation of a new Government, 
excluding Fox — Communications to other party chiefs — Fox's 
generous com-se — Lord Grenville's negative answer — Pitt receives 
the Seals — The new Cabinet — Other changes of office — Pre* \ 
carious state of the King's health. : \ 


On the 2nd of May Mr, Pitt, in conformity with the >" I 
King's commands, transmitted to His Majesty his views * 
respecting a new administration. The form which he 
adopted was a letter to the Chancellor. It will be foimd 
in the Appendix to this volume. It pointed out in the 
strongest terms the advantages, both to England and 
to Europe, that would ensue from a strong and compre- 
hensive Government, mentioning especially the names I Y 
of Lord Grenville and Mr. Fox ; and it was accompanied I 
by the following private note : — | 

3Ir. Pitt to Lord Eldon. 

** York Place, Wednesday, May 2, 1804, 
" My dear Lord, f past 1, p.m. 

" I enclose a letter addressed to you, which I 
shall be much obliged to you if you will lay before His 




Majesty. I am sorry not to have been able to make it 
sliorter, or to send it you sooner. As I think it may 
probably find you at the Court of Clianoery, I will, at 
rthe same time that I send it, ride down to Mr. Itose's, 
I at Palace Yard, in order that I may be easily within 
[your reach, if anything should arise on w^hich you may 
jwish to see me before you go to the Queen's House. If 
lyou should not be at the Court of Chancer)^, I shall 
lorder my letter to be caiTied to your house, unless my 
[servant should leam where it can be delivered to you 
Jfiooner. ,, -g^^^.^ ^^ ^^^^ ^^^^^ ^^^_^ 


The written representation of Sir, Pitt for a strong 
and comprehensive Government was most distasteful to 
George the Tliird, and not loss so to Lord Eldon. Hia 
Majesty's aniswer, at full length, was returned on the 
5th of May. The great harshness and exasperation \ 
which it displays throughout are best explained or best 

^ excused by his recent malady. To his former Minister 
be shows no part of his former regard. To Lord Gren- 
le, and also to Lord Mehille, he gives a sharp touch 

* 4n passing ; and he then proceeds to deal blows on Mr. 

jFox, expressuig his astonishment that, after what had 

j passed, such a name should even be brought before him* 
He declares that unless Mr. Pitt will relinquish his idea 
of concert with Mr, Fox, and also with Lord Grenville, 
Mr. Pitt cannot be trusted to form a new administration. 

^Finally, he seems to refuse, smce he fails to notice, the 
request which Mr, Pitt had preferred for a personal in- 

I terview. 

But His Majesty's sentiments are perhaps still more 

166 LIFE OF PITT. Chap. XXXVni. 

clearly shown in a private note which he on the same 
day addressed to the Chancellor : — 

" May 5, 1804. 

" The King is much pleased with his excellent Chan- 
cellor's note: he doubts much whether Mr. Pitt will, 
after weighing the contents of the paper delivered this 
day to him by Lord Eldon, choose to have a personal 
interview with His Majesty ; but whether he will not 
rather prepare another essay, containing as many empty 
words and little information as the one he had before 

" His Majesty will, with great pleasure, receive the 
Lord Chancellor to-morrow, between ten and eleven, 
the time he himself proposed. « George E.*' 

Mr. Pitt could not fail to be grieved and hurt by the 
letter which the King had sent him. But his reply 
on the 6th is marked by forbearance and dignity ; 
forbearance due to his Sovereign after his late affliction 
— dignity derived from his own character and services. 
He shortly adverted to each of the points which the 
King had raised, and respectfully renewed his applica- 
tion for an audience. If this were not granted, he wrote, 
" I am grieved to say that I cannot retain any hope that ' 
my feeble services can be employed in any manner 
advantageous to your Majesty's affairs." 

All this time Mr. Pitt, to nearly all his friends, 
maintained, as was his duty, a strict reserve. Lord 
Malmesbury observes in his Diary : " The only proof I 
could collect this week of Pitt's opinion, was from his 
telling Fitz-Harris, who dined with him on the 3rd of 
May at Lord Carrington's, that he would not be wanted 




in the Honse> and might go to iske charge of his re^- 
inent (the 2nd Wilts Militia)^ -which was to be inspected 
very soon." 

The last letter of Mr, Pitt, and the renewed represen* 
tations of Lord Eldon, wrought favourably with the 
King. He consented to see 3Ir, Pitt, and sent him a 
message accordingly, on the moruitig of the 7th of May. 
The Chancellor, who conveyed the message, describes 
himself as mucli ofiendt?d by a very natural inquiry 
which, from a knowledge of his views in politics, Mr, 
Pitt addressed to him. Here is his own account, 
derived from his Anecdote-Book : — 

'* When Mr. Addington went out of office, and Mr, 
Pitt succeeded him, the Khig was just recovered tVom 
mental indisposition. He ordered me to go to Mr. Pitt 
with his commands for Mr. Pitt to attend him. I went 
to him, to Baker Street or York Place, to deliver those 
commands, 1 found him at breakfast. After some 
little conversation he said, as the King was pleased to 
command his attendance with a view of forming a new 
administration, he hoped I had not given any tum to 
the King's mind which could affect any proposition he 
might have to make to His Majesty upon that subject 
1 1 was extremely hm-t by tJiis. I assured him I had not; 
that I considered myself as a gentleman bringing to a 
I igentleman a message from a King ; and that I should 
rtave acted more unworthily than I beUeved myself 
capable of acting, if I had given any opinion upon what 
might be right to His Majesty."^ 

* Twi88*8 life of Lord Eldon^ vol. i. p. 447. 


When, in writing his Anecdotes many years later, 
Lord Eldon described himself as so deeply wounded by 
this question, he must surely have forgotten that in his 
letter to Mr. Pitt of April 22, he had expressly an- 
nounced his intention to offer to the King his advice 
" for and against myself and others." 

Moreover, although Lord Eldon, in this passage, 
declares himself to have been greatly displeased, it is 
certain that at the time his attachment to Mr. Pitt, and 
his zeal for the new arrangement, continued unabated. 

From York Place the Chancellor and Mr. Pitt went, 
in the Chancellor's carriage, to Buckingham House. 
When they arrived there Pitt asked him, "Are you 
sure His Majesty is well enough to see me?" Lord 
Eldon insisted, this doubt having once been expressed, 
that Mr. Pitt should, in the first place, speak to the 
physicians alone in an adjoining room, since it was then 
their usual hour of calling, and since, as it chanced, 
they were already come. Mr. Pitt went to them ac- 
cordingly, and remained absent, as the Chancellor states, 
a considerable time. When he came back, he de- 
clared that he was quite satisfied with their report. 
" But I had heard," he said, " only yesterday, on what 
I thought unquestionable authority, that you had never 
seen the King but in the presence of the Doctors. This 
was news which came from Carlton House, and which, 
as I now learn, is utterly devoid of trutL" 

Mr. Pitt, it seems, had asked the physicians whether, 
since the King had not seen him for three years, the 
first meeting, after such an interval, and especially with 
such grave business before them, might tend to disturb 




or unsettle His Majesty's mmd. The physieiaiiB assured 
liira it would not. But Pitt was not content with only 
a verbal reply. He put his queries on paper, and 
desired the physicians to write their opinions beneath 
and sign tliem, which they did accordingly. " If," said 
Pitt to them, *'you hud at all demurred, I certainly 
would have returned without goiog in.**^ 

It is no doubt a most curious fact, as here alleged, 
that Mr. Pitt had not seen His Majesty for three years. 
So it was stated by Lord St. Helen's* lK)th to Lord 
'Malmesbury and to Mr, Abbot.^ Here, however, we 
must understand '* to see '' in the sense of " to converse 
with," since Pitt had from time to time paid his respects 
to the King at the Birthday or the Drawing Boom. 
Sometimes they also crossed in riding. Thus I find 
noted in a private letter of Jane, 1803, ''that two days 
before, the King had chanced to meet Mr. Pitt in Hyde 
Park, and bad passed him by without notice." * 

^\^len Mr. Pitt took leave of the physicians, he was 
next introduced to the King ; the Lord Cliancellor aU 
this time remaining in the ante-chamber. 

The interview between the King and Mr. Pitt con- 
tinued during full three hours. Pitt, on the next day, 
gave to Hose some particulars of tlus long conversation. 
He declared that the King had received him with the 

2 Dinries of Lord Malmeabiuy, 
vol. iv. p» 303. 

* Thi& passage ia given "by Dean 
PeUew from Mr. Abbot's original 
MS- in liis Life uf Lord Sidinouth, 
vol. ii* p» 2H(j. But, strange io sny. 
it does not appear in tbe comi>lete 


Biary wliich the present Lord Col- 
el tei^ttr Laa published. See the 
other 1 urregpondiiig entries at Vi:>I, 1. 
p. 507. 

* Itlemoira of Francis Horner, 
YoL i. p. 230. 



utmost possible kindness and cordiaKty. " I must con- 
gratulate your Majesty," said Pitt, "on your looking 
better now than on your recovery from your last ill- 
ness," alluding to the spring of 1801. " That is not to 
be wondered at," answered His Majesty. " I was then 
on the point of parting with an old friend ; I am now 
about to regain one."* Seldom has any Sovereign paid 
a more graceful compliment to any subject 

The King and Mr. Pitt then passed on to discuss the 
terms of a new Ministry. In the course of this long 
conversation, said Mr. Pitt, the King digressed a good 
deal whenever he came to suggestions of Mr. Pitt which 
he did not like. But he was always most perfectly 
rational, and returned to the suggestions exactly at the 
parts from which he had gone ofl^ Mr. Pitt used his 
most strenuous endeavours to convince his Sovereign of 
the necessity at that crisis to lay aside past grounds of 
resentment, and to form against the common enemy a 
strong and united administration. He pressed the point 
again and again, as he said to Eose, and with all the 
reasons he could find. Nor did Pitt entirely faiL His 
Majesty consented to admit the Grenvilles. His Majesty 
consented to admit any friends of Fox. But as to Fox 
personally, the result was such as the King himself 
described in a note addressed on the 9th to Mr. 
Addington: — "Mr. Fox is excluded by the express 
command of the King to Mr. Pitt" / 

When, at the close of this long interview, Mr. Pitt at I 
last came out, he found the Chancellor still waiting, | 


* Diaries of Mr. Rose, vol. ii. p. 121. 


1804. LIFE OF PITT. 171 

^ and related to his Lordship what had passed. However 
disappointed he might feel at the King's resolute 
determination^ he declared himself quite satisfied, and 
even surprised, with the King's state of mind. " Nevey," 
he said, " in any conversation I have had with him in 

A my life has he so baffled me." 

If The persistence of the King against the advice of his 

|\ new Prime Minister may, however, on one point be in 
\ some measure defended. He complained of the great 

* IWhig statesman, not merely as a Sovereign, but as a 
£Btther. To the example of Fox he imputed both the 
lavish waste and the loose amours of the Prince 
of Wales. To the precepts of Fox he imputed the 
Prince's politics, so directly in opposition to the 
King's. Every act of filial disrespect or disobedience 
in His Koyal Highness was, however unjustly, tranced to 
one and the same source. No wonder then if George 
the Third felt most unwiQing to bestow on Mr. Fox any 
share in his innermost confidence and counsels. 

It was to this share in his counsels that the King's 
resistance was, it seems, confined. When at this inter- 
view of the 7th, Mr. Pitt found the King quite immov- 
able on that point, and steadily refusing to accept 
Mir. Fox as one of his Ministers, Mr. Pitt then asked 
His Majesty whether he would object to Mr. Fox being 
employed abroad, if by any possibility he should ofiFer 
himself for a foreign Mission on any occasion that 
might appear to him worthy to engage in. To this 
the King's answer was, "Not at all." He limited his 
objections solely to the bringing Mr. Fox into the 



Mr. Pitt, finding his Sovereign thus resolute, and 
knowing on how frail a tenure his mental health at that 
time depended, consented, according to his previous 
purpose, to give way. He undertook to form a Govern- 
ment even with this exclusion. On leaving the King, 
he immediately sent Mr. Canning to Lord Grenville, 
and Lord Granville Leveson to Mr. Fox, to acquaint 
them with what had passed. Lord Grenville received 
the communication coldly. He said at once that if Fox 
was excluded, he did not think that he could take 
office,^ but desired before he gave a final answer to 
consult his friends, whom he would summon to meet 
that same evening at Camelford House. Later in the 
afternoon Pitt called upon his cousin, and in full detail 
explained his case. 

Mr. Fox, on whom Mr. Pitt had no personal claim 
whatever, showed on public grounds a lofty and gener- 
ous spirit. On the preceding day he had left a note at 
the house of Mr. Thomas Grenville, stating, as Mr. Can- 
ning related it to Lord Malmesbury, "^he wished it 
should appear as a record, and be known, that he stood 
in the way of no arrangement ; that he was sure the 
King would exclude him ; but that this ought not on 
any account to prevent the Grenvilles from coming in, 
and that as far as his influence went, it should not 
prevent his own friends." To Lord Granville Leveson 
he expressed no disappointment, no anger, no surprise. 
He said, " I am myself too old to care now about office, 
but I have many friends who for years have followed 

^ Diaries of Lord Malmesbury, vol. iv. p. 321. 


I iO 

me. I shall advise them now to juin Goverument, and 

^I tnist Pitt can give them phices/' 

Tills answer being without delay brought back to 

• Mr. Pitt, he expressed, and \\ith good reason, great 
pleasure at Jfr. Fox*s conductv He immediately desired 

. Lord Granvillo Leveson to retuni and say how ready h** 

['was to comply with JUr. Foxs Avishes for his friends, 

land that he hoped to see him the next morning. To 
the interview thus proposed Jlr, Fox readily agreed. 
But meanwhile his friends in Parliament, headed by 
Mr. Grey, had decided to hold a meeting that same 
evening at Carlton House. There they came to an 
unanimous decision that whatever might be 5Ir. Fox's 
'WisheSj they would not accept Ids highminded self- 
denial, nor agree to take office mthont their chief. 
Exactly simiJar to this was the decision at Camelford 
House. Lord Grenville proposed to the politicians 
there assembled to maintain the comprehensive prin- 
ciple, and to refuse to take part in any Goverament 
from which Mr, Fox must be excluded. In this view 
le was followed by Mr. Windham, by Lord Spencer, 
and by all the rest who owned him as their leader. 

Here is an extract from Mr. Rose's Diary next day : 
"May 8, 1804. Found the Bishop of Lincoln with 
Mr. Pitt. In talking over occun-ences and probable 

► events, 5lr. Pitt seemed in the highest possible spirits ; 

'neither he nor the Bishop nor myself knowing anything 
then of the resolutions or proceedings of the meetings 
at Camelford House or Carlton House ; but an impres- 
sion on the minds of each of us that so lair an opening 
presented itself for Fox as to aflford a reasonable cer- 


tainty that he would not allow it to escape him 

All our hopes and expectations were, however, soon 
destroyed by Mr. Canning coining in to announce the 
resolutions of the preceding evening, and to say that in 
consequence of these Mr. Fox declined a meeting with 

Mr. Pitt as useless Lord Grenville wrote to 

Mr. Ktt to announce to him what was decided at the- 
meeting at his house, and to put an end to all possibi- 
lity of any further expectation of his Lordship." 

Thus on both sides, right and left — ^by Lord Gren- 
viUe no less than by Mr. Fox — ^the power of choice to 
Mr. Pitt was greatly narrowed. Thenceforth he could 
only form his administration from two classes of persons 
— ^from among his own personal adherents, or from 
those who had already held office under Mr. Addington.. 
It was a great loss, a heavy disappointment to him. 
Of Mr. Fox he had no complaint to make. But 
considering his own intimate connexion with Lord 
Grenville — a connexion of family, of friendship, and of 
office — ^he thought himself aggrieved. " I recollect,'*^ I 
says Lord Eldon, in a fragment which Mr. Twiss haa 
preserved — "I recollect Mr. Pitt saying with some in- 
dignation, he would teach that proud man that, in tha 
service and with the confidence of the King, he could 
do without him, though he thought his health such that 
it might cost him his life." 

Meanwhile the correspondence with the Chancellor 
continued, and there was another audience of the KiDg^ 





Mn Pitt to Lord Eldm, 

"York Pkeo, IHiesday, May 8, 1804. 
*'Mt dear Lord, 

**I shall be much obliged to you if you cau 

laend me a single line to let me know what accounts 

p^ou haye from the Queen's House this morning- I 

liall be very desirous of seeing you in the course of 

le day, and will endeavom- either to find you near the 

House of Lords between four and five, or will call on 

you in the evening. It wll probably be desii'able that 

LI shoidd see the King again to-morrow. 

" Ever, my dear Lord, &c., 
«W. P." 

** York Place, Wednesday night, 
"My dear Lokd, May 9, 1B04, 

" I have had another interview to-day, not quite, 
I am sorry to say, so satisfactory as that of Monday. 
I do not think there was anything positively wrong, 
but there wiis a hurry of spirits, and ao excessive love 
pf talking, which showed that either the airing of this 
aoming, or the seeing of so many persons, and con- 
rersing so much duriug these three day^^, has i-ather 
tended to disturb. The only inference I draw from this 
observation is, that too much caution camiot be used in 
still keeping exertion of all sorts, and paiiicidarly 
conversation, within reasonable limits. If that caution 
can be sufficiently adhered to, I have no doubt that 
everjiihing will go well ; and there is ceitainly nothing 
in what I have observed that would, in the smallest 
degree, justify postponing any of the steps that arc iu 
progress towards arrangement. I am, therefore, to 
attend again to-morrow, for the purpose of receiring 
the Seals, which 3Ir. Addington will have received 

176 LIFE OF PITT. Chap. XXXVm. 

notice from His Majesty to bring. If I should not meet 
you there, I will endeavour to see you afterwards at the 
House of Lords. 

" I am, my dear Lord, &c., 


In accordance with the expectation expressed in this 
letter, the Seals of office were on the following morning, 
the 10th of May, brought back by Mr. Addington to 
the King, and delivered by His Majesty to Mr. Pitt. 
That same day the new Writ for the University of 
Cambridge, rendered necessary by his return to office, 
was moved in the House of Commons by Mr. Long. 

During these arrangements Lord Melville, who had 
some time since arrived from Scotland, was in frequent 
and friendly communication with Mr. Pitt. The follow- 
ing note refers to a suggestion which had verbally 
passed between them : — 

Mr. Pitt to Lord Melville. 

** York Place, Friday night, 
" Dear Lord Melville, ^^^ i^' l^^^- 

" On reflecting on the whole subject this even- 
ing, I doubt much the utility and propriety of sending 
to Lord Moira, and will beg you to suspend it till after 
we meet to-morrow. « Ever yours 

" W. P." 

I have found in Mr. Pitt's handwriting a sketch, as it 
seems, of the combined administration which he had 
wished to form. It is as follows : — 

1«04. LIFE OF PITT. 177 

"Treasury Mi\ Pitt 

(Lord Molvillc. 
Jtlr. Fo3L. 
Lord Fitzwilllam. 

Admii-alty Lord Spencer, 

Lord President Lord Grenville, 

Privy Seal Duke of Portland. 

Lord Ckancellor ,, ,, ,. Lord Eldon, 
Master-General of Orclimnco ,. Lord Chatham. 
Chancellor of Phichy *. .. Mn Windliam, 

Board of Control Lord Castlereagli. 

Lord Steward , Lord Camden. 

Committee of Trade .. ., Lord liar ro why. 

Secretary at War Mr, Groy. 

Secretary to Ireland .. .. Mr. Canning." 

The conduct of Mi\ Pitt in tliis tran^aotion lias even 
in OUT own times been assailed on two opposite grounds. 
Some persons have blamed him for ever proposing 
Mr. Fox as one of liis Cabinet colleagues. Other per- 
sons liave blamed him for not at all hazards persisting 
in that proposal, and making it a sine qua tion condition 
with the King. 

As regards the first of these charges, I know not that 
I have an)H:hiDg to add to the arguments so clearly 
stated by Pitt himself, in his letter of the 2nd of May, 

lAt a time when it was sought to combine all parties lo 
resist the apprehended invasion, and to form new 
alliances abroad, it was surely of no light moment to 
fortify the Clovernment with a st-atesmau of Fox's genius 
and renown. For such an object it was wise, it was 

I patriotic, to cast a-iide as unworthy the occasion all 
remembrance of past animosity and party discord. Tlie 

f coalition of 18(>4, had it been effected, woidd have 

1 o 


differed in all respects from the coalition of 1783. la 
1783 the country was at the close of a war. National 
defence was no longer at issue, and questions of home 
policy would claim and would deserve the foremost 
place. A junction between Fox and North, who on 
all these questions were wide asunder, was therefore 
most rightfully condemned. But in 1804 it was just the 
reverse. The country was at the beginning of a war. 
National defence was then the paramount consideration, 
and other grounds of difference might be, not indeed 
relinquished, but postponed. Who would desire to 
wrangle about Eeform in Parliament or to nibble at 
the Treason and Sedition Bills when Bonaparte, with 
a hundred thousand of the best troops of Europe, was 
encamped at Boulogne? 

The second of th^se charges is stated by Lord 
Macaulay with his usual force and perspicuity. He 
owns that Pitt did his best to overcome the scruples of 
the King. " That he was perfectly sincere," adds Lord 
Macaulay, " there can be no doubt. But it was not 
enough to be sincere; he should have been resolute. 
Had he declared himself determined not to take oflSce 
without Fox, the Eoyal obstinacy would have given way> 
as it gave way a few months later, when opposed to the 
immutable resolution of Lord Grenville." "^ 

To me, on the contrary, it appears that on full consi- 
deration of the circumstances there is no real parity 
between the case of Pitt in May, 1804, and the case of 
Lord Grenville in January, 1806. In 1804 the King 

Biographies, p. 223, ed. 1860. 

1804. LIFE OF PITT. 179 

was fully determined rather than yield Fox's admission 
to fall back on Addington's Government. Nor was this 
a mere visionary scheme. It must be remembered that 
Addington had not been outvoted, but only close-run. 
It was not impossible, it was only very difficult, for that 
Cabinet to continue in office ; and that difficulty would 
have been much lessened by the news that Pitt had 
&iled in adjusting matters with the King. People 
would have said that after all they must have some 
Government, and that if Pitt's could not be framed, they 
had best make up their mind to Addington's. 

In January, 1806, on the other hand, the Pitt party 
was broken down by the death of its chief. When 
questioned by the King, through Lord Hawkesbury, it 
declared itself wholly unable to carry on the Govern- 
ment. Addington was become a Peer. Perceval had 
not yet risen from legal to political eminence. There 
was not left a single statesman in the House of Commons 
to whom the King could apply if he rejected the terms 
of Grenville. He had, therefore, no choice. He could 
make no resistance ; nor did he, in truth, attempt any. 
When in their first interview Lord Grenville frankly told 
himihat he must have Mr. Fox for his principal col- 
league, His Majesty did not offer one word of objection, 
but said at once: "I understood it so; and I meant it 

It seems to me moreover that in considering Pitt's 
conduct at this juncture, the state of the King's health 
is to be borne in mind. This was not, as Pitt's opponents 
have alleged, a mere point of personal feeling — ^though 
even thus it would need no apology in one who had 

180 LIFE OP PITT. Chap. XXXyill. 

been the confidential servant of his Sovereign for a 
period of seventeen years. But was it a light risk, at a 
time especially when a French invasion was preparing, 
to take any course that might render necessary the 
discussion of a Bill of Eegency, and the transfer of 
Royal authority to other hands ? 

It seems a little doubtful, although the doubt did not 
in any manner weigh with Pitt, whether, if the King's 
aversion had been overcome, and the offer had been 
made. Fox would after all have accepted oflBce. Pitt 
was folly determined to be himself First Lord of the 
Treasury and Prime Minister. He had taken care that 
there should be no misunderstanding upon that point. 
He had taken care, as we have seen in his letter of 
March the 29th, to state his determination to Lord 
Melville, and through Lord Melville to Lord Moira and 
the Prince of Wales. For Fox he designed the post 
of Foreign Secretary, a post especially adapted to Fox's 
tastes and talents. But, on the other hand, Fox most 
expressly declared on several occasions— both before 
the period of May, 1804, and subsequently to it — ^his 
strong unwillingness to come in with Pitt at the head 
of the Government, and his desire first to see some 
other person — he cared little whom — in that place. 

Independently of this general view of politics in Fox's 
mind, it should be noted that he retained the utmost 
bitterness of feeling against his ancient rival. That 
bitterness was not at all diminished even in the f^w 
months preceding May, 1804, when their general course 
was the same, and their votes on many questions coin- 
cided. In that period the familiar letters of Fox are 




full of opprobrious terms. Writing to Grey, he calls 
Pitt " a mean* low-minded dog." Writing to Fitzpatrick, 
he says of the same : ** He is a mean rascal after all, 
and you who have sometimes supposed him to be high- 
minded were quite wrong." ^ How diflerent, how very 
different, I may say, in passing, was the tone of Pitt to 
Fox I I doubt whether in the whole course of l^itt'g 
most private corresiM3ndence there can be found a 
single expression about Fox inconsistent with the 
personal respect which eminent men owe to one 

But if even w^e doubt whether the junction with Fox 
at this time could have been effected, it does not follow 
that the offer would have been of small importance. 
The offer, though declined, would have released both 
his own followei's and those of Lord Grenville from their 
supposed point of honour. Able men among them 
would no longer have been found im\rilling to take j^ai-t 
in Pittas administration. 

I must also observe that in first proposing Mr. Fox, 
]\Ir. Pitt had deliberately hazarded the serious displea- 
siu-e, not only of the King, but of very many among his 
own followers and partisans* This is related in Mr. 
Abbot's I>iary. This is avowed in Lord Eldon*s Corre- 
spondence. But most striking of all is the testimony on 
tliis point, and on several others, of a statesman who 
had been in Mr. Addington's Cabinet, and %vho remained 
in Mr. Pitt's. I am referring to a private letter from 
Lord Castlereagh as President of the Board of Control 

» Coirospondeiice, edited by Lord John Buasell, vol. iii. pp. 440 and 455. 


to Lord Wellealey as Governor-General of India. That 
letter has been already published in the Wellesley 
Despatches,* but merged as it is in hnge masses of 
Indian documents, it has hitherto, I think, attracted 
little notice. I shall, therefore, at this place repro- 
duce it. 

Lord Castlereagh to the Marquis^Wellesley, 
" My dear Lord, " London, May 18, 1804. 

" I shall not attempt to trace the various causes 
which at first by slow degrees, and latterly by rapid 
strides, produced so afflicting a change in the reciprocal 
feelings of former friends ; your Lordship's sentiments 
of attachment to them all, wiU best enable you to 
appreciate what those suflTered who had a public duty to 
perform in this trying struggle. It is enough to remark, 
that on the meeting of Parliament after the Eecess, the 
measures of Government were attacked on two or three 
questions, on which the united force of Mr. Pitt's, 
Mr. Fox's, and Lord Grenville's friends, was concen- 
trated. In the Commons the majority of Government 
was materially reduced, whilst the minority exceeded 
200. In the Lords the strength of those who would 
have divided against Government, on Lord Stafford's 
motion, was even more seriously formidable, considering 
the usual temper of this assembly. 

" Under these circumstances His Majesty's Ministers, 
dubious how long they might be enabled to retain a 
majority in Parliament, and under a strong conviction 
that against such a combination of numbers, talent, and 

9 See vol. iii. p. 570, ed. 1837. 




comiexion, it was no louger to be exi>cctGd that tliey 
cQuld continue to administer the Government with that 
energy and effect which the public interests at such a 
moment reqiiirod, were of opinion they shoidd liest 
discharge their duty by aTailing themselves of the first 
occasion which the King's recovery afibrded them, of 
advising His Mujesty to form an administration; they 
were desirous of giving every facility; whilst they were 
ready, if His Majesty met witli insuperable difficulties 
in the formation of such an arrangement as he could 
reconcile to his own mind, to continue their best exer^ 
tions in discharge of their public duty* 

** This advice was certainly offered in the confident 
hope that the Iving would turn his attention trj Mr. Pitt ; 
tills expectation was not disappointed, and the Lord 
Chancellor was desired by the King to learn Mr, Pitt's 
sentiments upon tlie formation of a new Government. 
Mr. Ktt, nndur the present circumstances of the empu-e, 
considered it as his duty to bring under the Eng s 
consideration the expediency of forming an arrange* 
ment which should embrace the leading men of all 
parties, as best calculated to keep down factions discus- 
sions during the wai*, and to afford the King the repose 
and tranquillity so essential to his health. It is un- 
necessary for me to offer any remarks upon the merits 
or defects of such a plan, whatever might have been the 
consequences, had it been carried into effect: it is 
enough to know that Mr. l*itt proposed it, to be assured 
that in his conscientious judgment it appeared to him 
the best adapted under all the circumstances to promote 
tlie public service. In a personal interview with the 
King of three hours, he pressed the projMsition upon 
His Majesty's most serious attention ; the result was, an 
acquiescence on the part of the King in the leading 
men of all parties (Mr. Fox excepted) being included. 


" Upon this being made known, Mr. Fox urged his 
friends to lend themselves to the arrangement ; this 
they declined, unless he was also to hold oflSce; and 
upon Lord Grenville, Lord Spencer, and Mr. Windham 
being applied to by Mr. Pitt, they also refused to accept 
of oflBceif Mr. Fox was to be proscribed. Mr, Pitt 
having made every effort in the hope of disarming 
hostility to the King's Government, certainly having 
gone much greater lengths than was congenial to the 
feelings and sentiments of a large portion of the public 
and of many of his best friends; when he was thus 
disappointed of the aid of those whose services he was 
anxious to procure for the public, in consequence of a 
decision on the part of the King, which it was strictly 
competent and constitutional for him to form, did not 
a moment hesitate in proceeding to submit to His 
Majesty the best arrangement for the administration of 
his affairs which his means of selection thus narrowed 
would afford. I transmit to your Lordship the appoint- 
ments as far as they have hitherto gone ; and if some 
most distinguished names of Mr, Pitt's former con- 
nexions, not by his, but by their own act, are absent 
from the list, your Lordship will discover no presumable 
seeds of internal discord in the Cabinet which can 
thwart or impede the full exercise of Mr. Pitt's powers. 
The Government will probably have to contend with a 
very serious opposition, countenanced by high authority, 
and comprehending great ability and considerable 
strength. If Mr. Pitt's health does not fail him, it will, 
I am confident, only rouse him to greater and more 
successful exertions. It is to be seriously lamented 
that wounded feelings and other causes have deprived 
the King at this critical moment of the united services 
of all those who in the last twelve years preserved the 
country, exposed as it has been to unexampled dangers, 




and it is painful to observe Jli*, Addington and several 
valxmblo men witlidraivix ii-om the Kiiig*s service : we 
must, however^ trust to tiiue for bringing back i\*elings 
and sentiments betwe^^n Jlr. Pitt and Mr. Addington to 
their I'ormer state of relation ; and I belit.^ve at tbis 
moment it is the only tbing really wanting tu the King s 
complete personal satisfaction. 

'* I am, my dear Lord, &c., 

" Castleeeagh." 

Tlie reader will not fail to observe the ominous doubt 
wbicb here in one passage Lord Castlereagb expresses : 
"If Mr. Pitt's health does not fail him." His health, 
indeedj was already impaired, and was now to be ex- 
posed to no ordinary trial. Lie was to confront night 
after night the united p]ialanx of the Foxit^s and the 
Grenvillites, eoraprising several of his former colleagues- 
Against such an array it might be questionable how 
long his boddy powers would endure. That doubt was 
cei-tainly another strong argument in favour of a junc- 
tion with Fox. But it was an argument which Pitt, with 
his lofty spirit, did not seek to urge. ISot one word 
tending to that point appears to have escaped liim at 
that period in any of bis representations to the King. 
How happy had it occurred to the King himself, and 
found weight in His Majesty's mind ! 

The diflBcidties of Pitt at tbis juncture were mucli 
increased by the unexpected use that was made of Lord 
Grenville's letter to him of the 8th of May. That letter, 
besides expressing Lord Grenville's own refusal to come 
in without Fox, contained an able argument for the 
union of chief men from all pai-ties — '' an object," adds 



Chap. XXXyill. 

the letter, " for which the circumstances of the time 
afford at once so strong an inducement and so favourable 
an occasion." To Pitt's surprise and regret this private 
communication, conmiencing "My dear Pitt," and end* 
ing " Most affectionately yours," was published in the 
newspapers, and became the manifesto of the new 
Opposition.^ It was a weapon which Pitt could not 
readily meet with another of the same kind, unless he 
had brought forward into public view the personal 
wishes and feelings of the King. 

Lord Grenville, in the first instance, may have given 
copies of this letter to several of his own and Fox's 
fiiends ; and there is reason to believe that it was made 
public without his knowledge or authority. Certain it 
is that he had no desire to break with Pitt On the 
contrary, he availed himself of another transaction, at 
nearly the same period, to express his continued feel- 
ings of personal regard. But this opportunity will 
require a short detail. 

In 1754 and the following years, Thomas Pitt, after- 
wards the first Lord Camelford, was an imdergraduate at 
Cambridge. There he received a series of letters from 
his uncle, afterwards the first Lord Chatham, to guide 
and direct his studies. Such counsels, from so great a 
man, were felt to have especial value. After Lord 
Camelford's death the manuscripts remained in posses- 
sion of his widow, and on her decease passed into Lord 
Grenville's hands. In the opinion of that excellent 

1 The letter will be found at 
length in the Ann. Register for 
1804, p. 124, and also in the Courts 

and Cabinets of George III., voL 
iii. p. 352. 



judge tliey did honour to both the parties concerned^ 
and would be of interest to the world at large. He 
proposed to publish thera if Lord Cliathaiu and Mr. 
Pitt did not object. Lord Chatham approved the idea, 
as Mr. Pitt did also. Lord Grenville accordingly pre- 
pared this little volume for the press, and prefixed to it 
a few most graceful lines of decEcation* 

To the Right Em. Wi Pitt. 

" Mt deak Stk, ** Bropraoro, Dec, 3, 1803. 

"When you expressed to me your entire con- 
cuirenee in my wish to print the following letters, you 
were not apprised that this address would accompany 
them* By you it will, I trust, be received as a testi- 
mony of affectionate friendship. To others the propriety 
mil be obvious of inscribing with your name a publica- 
tion in wliich Lord Chatham teaches how great talents 
may most successfiilly be cultivated, and to what objects 
they may most honourably be directed. 

** Grenville/' 

But though the rolnme was sent to the pi^ess in 
December, 1803, it was not completed by the printers 
imtil the middle of May ensuing. Then one of the first 
copies was sent to Pitt with a note as follows : — 

Lord GtenvilU to Mr, Pitt. 

" My dear Pitt, ** Cnmelford House, May IG, 1804. 

" I send you at last the letters which yon saw in 
luanuBcript last Bunimer, Jlr, Payne has taken near 
fi\9 months to print about a hundred pages ; hut I am 
nut diBpleased at tlie delay, since it aflbrds me the 


opportunity of sending out the first page in the present 
circumstances, exactly as it stood in December last. I 
know there is no fear of your thinking that political 
differences (be they more or less) will alter in my mind 
a friendship of more than twenty years' standing ; but it 
is satisfactory to be able to testify this feeling publicly. 
" Ever most affectionately yours, 

" P. S. — I send you another copy, that you may, if 
you think it right, take an opportunity of leaving it with 
the King, with such speechification as may be most 
proper on my part. These copies are on large paper, 
only fifty of which are printed for presents : this cir- 
cumstance affords an excuse for the presimiption of 
requesting leave to offer one to His Majesty. 

" If you think this wrong, return me the copy." 

It is certainly not strange if Mr. Pitt, at the very 
time when he was suffering from the publication of 
Lord Grenville's political letter, did not feel disposed to 
meet the next with the same entire cordiality as the 
writer shows. I have heard that he gave it no answer 
at all, and that Lord Grenville was much offended. 

In a note to Lord Buckingham, written from Drop- 
more only a few days afterwards, we find Lord Gren- 
ville's political bias reappear. " Nothing to be sure can 
be more wretched than the manner in which Pitt is 
eking out his Government with Koses and Dundases. 
But this fine weather leaves one little inclination to 
come to town to do or say anything against it."^ 

- Courts and Cabinets of George III., vol. iii. p. 355. 




Meanwhile, as Lurd (Trenville intimates^ ihe new 
Jlinisterial appomtments had been in active prop^ss. 
They could only be made from the narrow seope which 
Pitt had deprecated, Pitt himstilf was of cotirse Fii^t 
L<jrd of the Treasur}^ and Chiineellor of the ExcheqtieT. 
Of the old Cabinet i^rmisters six remained in their 
places ; Lord Eldon as Chancellor, the Duke of Port- 
land as President of the Council, the Earl of Westmor- 
land lis I*rivy Seal the Earl of Chatham as Master of 
tlie OrdnancCj and Lord Castlereagh as President of the 
Board of Controh Lord Hawkesbiiry was also continued 
as Secretary of State, but, rather to his own regret, was 
transferred from the Foreign Department to the Home, 
The new Foreign Secretary was Lord liarrowby — the 
same whose ready elocution and penetrating genius^ 
whose large stores of knowledge, and whose keen — 
sometimes perhaps a little caustic — wit, were tried in 
many subsequent years of office, and were tempted at 
least on one occasion, but in vahi, with an offer of tlie 
Premiership. Surviving as he did to an honoured and 
green old age, he yet lives in the attached mmem- 
bmnce of many sun-ivors at the present time. 

Continuing the list of Cabinet appointments, we find 
Viscount Jlchille First Lord of the Admiralty, Earl 
Camden Secretary of State for War and Coloniei^!, Lord 
Mulgrave Chancellor of the Duchy, and the Duke of 
Montrose President of the Board, and also joint Post- 
master-General instead of Lord Auckland. The new 
Cabinet, therefore, consisted of twelve persons — only one 
besides Pitt himself, that is Lord Cnstlereagh, a member 
of the House of Commons, 

190 LIFE OF PITT. Chap. XXXVin. 

In the appointments beyond the Cabinet, Pitt made 
one or two attempts to enlarge his sphere. He pro- 
posed an office to the second son of his old chief Shel- 
bume. This was Lord Henry Petty, a young man of 
rare promise, who had come in for the borough xrf 
Calne. The offer was sent him through Mr. Long, but 
was declined by Lord Henry, who adhered to the party 
of Fox. It was a refusal of which the consequences ex- 
tended far beyond the time in question. How greaOy 
in after years would the party of Pitt have gained, could 
they have reckoned among their leaders the present 
Marquis of Lansdowne ! 

There was also a trial of Tiemey. In the debate of 
April 23 he had paid, as we have seen, extraordinary 
court to Pitt> and had seemed ambitious of his &vGnr. 
The sequel is told us in Mr. Hose's Diary : — " May 14, 
1804. Mr. Tiemey had the offer of remaining as Treap 
surer of the Navy ; he certainly thought Carlton House 
"the better speculation." 

Here is another offer and another refusal, but on en- 
tirely different grounds. " Pitt has offered the Mint to 
Lord Bathurst, who in the handsomest way begs Pitt to 
bestow it where it may be more useful to the purposes 
of his Government ; that he shall ever act with him ; 
and that he really feels such a very high office is one he 
is by no means entitled to." So writes Lord Malmes- 
bury. But Pitt, after an interval of time, renewed his 
proposal, and Lord Bathurst was named. 

As finally settled, the principal appointments were 
as follows: — Canning became Treasurer of the Navy 
in the place of Tierney. William Dundas, a nephew of 




Lord Melville, becaine Secretary at War, in the place of 
Bragge. The joint PajanaHters of the Forces were Rose 
and Lord Charles Somerset, in the place of Hiley 
Addington and Steele ; for Steele, it is to be observed, 
liad of late grown to be at variance with his early 
firiend. The two Secretaries of the Treasury were Hus- 
kisson and Sturges Bouroe, in the place of Vandttart 
and Sargentp 

The Grovernment of Ireland was left for the present 
as it stood, except as to the Secretary, Wickham, who 
retii-ed on account of ill health, and was succeeded! by 
Sir Evan Nepean. Nor w*as there any change in the 
Law departments of either countrj'. 

It was on the 11th that llr. Perceval received, through 
Ijord Harxowby, tlie proposal to continue Attomey- 
GenemL Before he would accept he requii'ed a distinct 
assurance upon several points, and above all, that Mr. 
Fox was to be no part of the administration. On this 
point he was answered, says Mr. Abbot, '* that IMr. Fox 
was certainly not a member of the new administi-ation, 
but there was no tmdertaking that he never would bo ; 
and on this the Attorney-General closed, distinctly 
stating that therefore his own acceptance must be as 
conditional as was the oflfer." * 

Canning also had his doubts and gcniples. He did 
not indeed aspire to any of the highest posts. " For 
myself" he said to Lord Malme-sbury, *'I had rather 
take no office at aU, As to a Cabinet office, I think 
that my taking one would be injurious both to my- 

^ Diaiies of Lord Coldieaf er, toL i, p« 512. 


self and Pitt. To myself because the public would evi- 
dently look upon me as not yet ripe for it ; to Pitt be- 
cause the same public would consider it as a mark of 
partiality and personal favour. Against this, therefore, 
I protest." Finally, as we have seen. Canning became 
Treasurer of the Navy ; but he greatly lamented the 
exclusion of Fox and Grenville from the public service, 
and condemned the admission into the Cabinet of Mul- 
grave and Montrose. 

As his Private Secretary, the new Prime Minister 
named Mr. William Dacres Adams, son of one of the 
members for Totness. The choice of Mr. Adams was 
made on the recommendation of Mr. Long, and was 
fully justified by his ability and attachment to the end 
of his chief's career. Mr. Adams was afterwards Private 
Secretary to the Duke of Portland; he has filled several 
other official posts ; and he is still living in retirement 
at his seat near Sydenham. To his kindness I owe 
the communication of many interesting particulars and 
important manuscripts. 

There were also at this time divers changes in the 
Koyal Household, which it is not very necessary to ex- 
amine in detail. The Earl of Dartmouth succeeded the 
Marquis of Salisbury as Lord Chamberlain. Lord John 
Thynne succeeded the Right Hon. Charles Greville as 
Vice-Chamberlain. This Mr. Greville was a veteran 
who had been named to a political office, rather to 
the public surprise, a quarter of a century before. In 
1796 some one chanced to ask Pitt how so tiresome a 
man had come to be a Privy Councillor. " It was by 
dint of solicitation, I suppose," said Pitt, in a laughing 




mood. " For my own part, I wonld rather at any tima 
have made him a Privy Councillor than have talked to 

During all these days the mental state of the King 
continued to he a matter of anxiety. Mr. Pitt had 
noticed some increase of agitation in his second inter- 
view of the loth of May; but when His Majesty found 
that the administration was practically forming in the 
manner that he wished, he was satisfied and sootfied. 
On the 12th he told the Duke of Portland that, nou% 
he and Pitt met like old friends who had never parted. 
" It seems certain," adds Lord Malmesburyj " that what 
has passed, far from hurting the King, seems to have 
relieved him/' 

On the 16th, however, the Chancellor and Pitt felt it 
their duty to transmit a joint representation to His 
Majesty, earnestly entreating him to avoid all nnnccos- 
sary causes of excitement, and to comply with the rules 
whicli his physicians had enjoined, I do not find tliat 
the Iling made any answer to this joint request ; but on 
the 18th, when the political arrangements were almost 
completed, he addressed the Chancellor as follows: — 

I7i€ King to Lord Eldon, 

** Queen's Palace, May 18, 1804. 

" The King having signed the Commission for giving 
his Royal Assent, returns it to his excellent Lord Chan- 
cellor, whose conduct he most thoroughly approves. 
His Majesty feels the difliculties he has had, both poli- 

* Dkries of Lord Colclieeter, vol, i. p. 75. 





ticaJ and personal to the King ; but the uprightness of 
Lord Eldon's mind, and his attachment to the King, 
have borne him with credit and honour, and (what the 
King knows will not be without its due weight) with 
the approbation of his Sovereign, through an unpleasant 

" The King saw Mr. Addington yesterday. Mr. 
Addington spoke with his former warmth of friendship 
for the Lord Chancellor ; he seems to require quiet, as 
his mind is perplexed between returning affection for 
J\Ir. Ktt, and great soreness at the contemptuous treat- r, 
ment he met with, ,the end of last Session, from one he ; 
had ever looked upon as his private friend. This makes !? 
the King resolve to keep them for some time asunder. \^ 


■' i; 

Li conversation with the Duke of Portland a few ;; 
days later, we learn that the King called the Grenviiles 
"the brotherhood," and said they must always either 
govern despotically or oppose violently. The Duke told 
Lord Malmesbury that he had little doubt of the King 
doing well. Quiet would set him right, and nothing 
else. Not quite so sanguine was Mrs. Harcouit, who 
came to see Lord Malmesbury the next day. She said 
that the King was apparently quite well when speaking 
to his JWinisters,^ or to those who kept him a little in 
awe, but that to his family and dependents'^s language 
was incoherent and harsh, quite unlike hiS uira^TcEa- 
racter. He had made capricious changes everywhere, 
from the Lord Chamberlain to the grooms and footmen. 
He had turned away the Queen's favourite coachman, 
made footmen grooms, and vice versa; and, what was 
still worse, because more notorious, had removed Lords 




of the Bedcliaraber without a shadow of reason. All 
this, said Mrs. Harcotirt, afflicts the Royal Family 
beyond measure. The Princesses are quit-e sinking 
under it. 

The 27th of May, on whicli Lord Malmesbuiy wrote 
these last entries in his jonrnal, supplied another proof 
that even a mere trifle might still throw the King's 
mind from off its balance. Going down to Windsor on 
the 26th, his carriage was tbllowed some way, and londly 
I cheered, by a party of Eton boys. This had such an 
■ effect upon His Majesty, that when he met a different 
party of the boys next morning, he said to them, " I have 
always been partial to your schooL I have now the 
additional motive of gratitude for being so. In future I 
shall be an anti- Westminster/* 

Yet Mr. Rose, from whom we derive this story, de- 
clares that when, on the 5th of June, he attended a 
Council to kiss the King's hand on his appointment — 
which was the first time he had seen His Majesty since 
his recovery — "the King spoke to me for about ten 
minutes, and I never saw him more entirely composed 
and collected ; if anything, less hurried in his manner 
than usual." 




Chap. XSXIST* 



Charge again Bt Messrs. Drake and Spencer Smith — ^Execy^on of the 
Duke (I'EngMi^n — The First Cytimil proclaimed Eraporor of the 
French — Pitt's projected Continental alliances — OTcrtnres of 3Ir. 
Livingston — Pitt'« Memomiidnm — Wilborforce a renewed motion 
on the Slave Trade ^— Proclamation probfbiting the Trade in the 
conqnered CidonitH — Pitt's Additional Force BiU — Vote of Credit 
*— Pitt's measures of Defence — Criticisms of Lord Gremille and 
Fox — Napoleon's plan of Invasion — The Caiamarara — Snecess- 
fiil operati^ma of the British out of Enrope ^ Battles of Assye and 
Argaum — War with Spain — Seizure of the Trea^aire Ships — Pitt's 
notc^ on the War, Germany^ and Napoleon — Attempted reconcilia- 
tion between the Ki ng and the Prince of Wales — Case of liord 

On the 18th of May Mr- Pitt took kis seat in the 
House of Commoas, on his re-election. Keen debates 
and weighty Lusinefis, foreign and domestic, claimed at 
once his e^re. 

As regards the Continent, the rumours of immediate 
inTasion had been rather fainter for some time past. 
There was reason to believe tliat the spirit of our people 
and the magnitude of our armaments bad caused the 
enemy to pause in his designs. There was reason to 
belieye that the name of Pitt, as restored to our national 
councils, would be a further earnest of our energy and 
resolution. Still, however, the camp at Boulogne was 
not raised ; the flotilla of boats was not dispersed. Such 
considemtious of the internal state of England, so far 
as they wTougbt at all with the First Consulj merely 





inclined Jiini to some more delay. Meanwhile he might 
consolidate his already imresisted power ; meanwhile 
he might augment his already gigantic preparations ; 
and meanwhile any interval of false security amongst 
ourselves might perhaps be seized as the fittest moment 
for a sudden enterprise. It therefore hehoved us on no 
account to falter in our naval or militarj^ measures. 

It may be added, that the First Consul at tliia very 
period showed an aggravation of his hostile feelings. 
He accused the English Government of having taken 
part in plots for his assassination, while in trutli their 
object was only, as in war it might justly be, the over- 
throw of his autliority. He aUowed tliis grievous charge 
of intended assassination to be not only made, hut pub- 
lished in two Reports to him from the Grand Juge^ the 
Minister of Justice.* It was levelled especially against 
Mr, Francis Drake, Mnister from England at Munich, 
and Mr. Spencer Smith, the Minister from England at 
Stuttgart. Nor did the French Government rest untU, 
by ita overweening influence with those smaller Courts, 
it effected the public expulsion ofomr diplomatic agents* 

In the contest as renewed with Franee we had been 
thus far single-handed But besides the return of Pitt 
to power, several events which had recently occun-ed 
were tending to a renewal of concert and alliance with 
the great European Powers. Foremost among these 
events was the mournful tragedy of the Duke d'Enghien, 
Seized at night by a party of French soldiers on the 

I See these documenta, translated in the Annual BegiBter, 1804, 
pp. 61M27. 



Chap, XXXIX. 

neutral ground of Baden, the young Prince had been 
conveyed to tlie Donjon d© Vincennes, tried by a Military 
Commission, and executed on the 2 1st of March before 
daybreak, in the castle fosse. A thrill of deep com- 
miseration ran through all Europe at the news, " I do 
not think," says M. Thiers, ** that I am departing from 
the strictest truth if I say that this catastrophe ^^as the 
main cause of a third general war."® 

Another cause of a very different kind was the re- 
establishment of monarchy in France. On the 18th of 
May, after some preliminary steps in various quarters, 
and above all, a Decree of the Senate, the First Consiil 
was solemnly proclaimed Sovereign of the French, by 
the title of the Emperor Napoleon. At first sight tliis 
might appear a matter concerniug France alone ; but 
the private correspondence of the period shows how 
greatly the change was resented in the other Continental 
Courts. So long as Napoleon had been the chief of a 
EepnbKc, the Sovereign Princes of Europe were willing 
to draWj as they well might, a most favourable contrast 
between him and the sanguinary or incapable chiefs 
who had gone before him since the execution of Louis 
the Sixteenth. They a^jknowledged his genius, and 
they desired his good will. But when he took his 
place among themselves — 'when he sought to found a 
dynasty not inferior to the loftiest of their own — their 
pride of rank was roused, and they viewed his elevation 
with an enmity which only their fears concealed* 

In his endeavours to frame anew a system of conce 

^ Hkt. du Gonsukt et de i'Empire, tuL v. p. 2* 



witli the great Eurnjiean Powers, Pitt was at this time 
, most effectively aided by Lord Harrowby. That able 
finaii, who knew the vahie of good coiinsel, used often 
to call and talk over Iiis business with Lord IMalniesbury* 
He laid before the experienced diploioatist the accoiants 
of the several Courts which his late degpatches gave. 
" Austria/* said Lord Ilarrowby, " is not yet recovered 
from her panic. Of Berlin I think rather less im- 
favourably than you might suppose. But Russia is the 
Court most likely to bo brought into action. , . . On the 
whole, however, till the invasion is either attempted 
or laid aside, it is not probable the Continent will stir/* 

**But," said Lord Malmesbury, "if we succeed in 
resisting it, it is still most material to form Continental 
connexions and alliances, since without them Eiu*ope 
never can be restored to a situation of security against 

Athwart, these warlike preparations came one faint 
gleam of peace, litlr, Livingston, Minister from the 
United States to France, arrived in London. All his 
leanings were to Fox, all his overtures to that states- 
man. But Fox thought it his duty to lay before the 
GoYernment the information wliich he had thus received. 
Accompanied by Grey, he called upon Pitt in Downing 
Street, on the 5th of June. Immediately after they 
had taken leave, Pitt put down in ^vriting what had 
passed, for the information of his colleagues. 

** Memorandum, 

'* June 5, 1804. 
"The purport of the communication made me by 
M.T, Fox and BIr. Grey wa^?, that Mr. Livingston had 




expressed to tliera his opinions respecting the possibility 
of peace between tliis country and France. That he had 
taken particular care to disclaim having any authority or 
commission on the aubject, but that his opiuiuns were 
chiefly founded on conversations with Joseph Bonaparte 
some time since, and more recently with Talleyrand and 
Jlalllebois. From Joseph Bonaparte he had only col- 
Iceted generally that there was a disposition in the 
French Government to peace. From the two others 
he understood that the French Govermnent would 
expect some arrangement about Malta, such as bad 
been before proposed — probably its being garrisoned by 
Kussia ; and that on the point of our relinrjiiishing it 
they w^ould not give way ; but that they should be ready 
to consent to withdrawing their troops from Switzerland 
and Holland, and to provide for the independence of 
both those countries by the guarantee of other Powers, 
and that guarantee as general as possible, and that they 
would also agree to the restoration of Hanover. That 
some idea had been mentioned of some guarantee in 
return against our making farther acquisitions in India ; 
hut Mr, Fox obsei-ved that it had not been explained 
what Power there was that could enter into any such 
guarantee, and rather hinted that he imagined on that 
account they might not mean farther security than our 
assurances of a system of moderation. They added^ to 
questions which I put, that nothing had been said with 
respect to providing for the security of Holland or 
Switzerland, by auy arrangement for the defence of 
either in the first instance, by fortresses or auxiUary 
troops, or by anytlnng beyond the guarantee suggested ; 
but Mr. Grey stated that he understood the basis pro- 
posed was to provide for their independence, and that 
the mode of doing so would, he conceived, be considered 
as matter of subsequent discussion. They fui'ther added. 




tliat Mr. Livingston understood that it wotild be ex- 
pected that the first overtme of a disposition to treat 
I would he made either directly or iDdireetly on our part ; 
and that they would be extremely disposed to receive 
it, and that the present moment (with a new to Boua- 
r|>arte's now dignity) was thought a favourable ona 
That they had mentioned to Mr. Livingston that the 
detention of the English Ln France might be one 
obst^ele to any such overture; and that Mr. L* had 
expressed a strong opinion (but merely as an opinion of 
his own, and not ibunded on his conversations) that on 
any indication of a favourable disposition here towards 
an overture, they would be glad to take the opportunity 
of releasing the prisoners, as theh' detention was gene- 
raOy disapproved in Franee. 

**3'L*. Fox alsLi -Siiid that in the course of the conversa- 
tion Mr. Livingston had erpressed a great readiness to 
do anjrthing in his power towards facilitating a negotia- 
tion, and thought himself capable of being of consider- 
able use. Mr. Fox rather intimated a behef that the 
object of Mr. L. coming here was to bring about some 
explanation, and tliat it was generally supposed to be 
so in France ; and he seemed to think that he possibly 
was prepai'ed to have said more if he had found the 
administi'ation here composed as he perhaps expected 
when he left France. I thanked Mr. Fox and Mr, 
Grey for the conimunication, without expressing any 
opinion on any part of it, and only inibrmed them that 
I should report what they had told me to the King's 
Ministers, „m p» 

"For my part,** said Mr, Pitt to Rose, "I think no 
good consequences can result from this communication. 
If France had really any serious intention of putting 

K 3 



Chap* XXXDC. 

an end to the war, the new Emperor would haye found 
some less exceptionable channel of communication than 
throngh a man whose hostile disposition to thiE comitiy 
has been so strongly and so lately manifested- His 
public character at that Court, too, makes him an unfit 
instrument for the purpose.'*^ The doubts of Mr. Pitt 
on this occasion seem to have bten most justly founded. 
No good consequence ensued ; and the overture of 
Mr. Livingston was only, I conceive, a IVill of the Wisp, 
Let me now revert to the ** sayings and doings '* in 
the House of Commons, No sooner was Pitt again 
installed in office than Wilberforce gave notice of 
renewing his motion on the Slave Trada From 1792 
to 1800 the cause of Abolition had lost ground. From 
1800 to 1804 it had seemed to slumber. Of that retro- 
cession the main cause had befen the ferment of Eevo- 
lutionary France, and the fears which ensued in 
England. Of that quiescence the main cause had been 
the hostihty of the Addmgton Cabinet, which, on this 
point, as on several others, faithfully represented the 
feelings of the King. But besides the auspicious change 
from Addington to Pitt, there were now other favour- 
able indications. Several of the West Indian merchants 
and planters began themselves to talk of Abolition. 
They were afraid of the cultivation of sugar in Deme- 
rara and the other Dutch coloniea Under this dread 
they signified to Wilberforce that they would no longer 
oppose Abohtion as a trial — as a three years* or a five 
years' Suspension of the Trade* 

* Biariea of Mr. Bosej voL ii. p. 151 



Wilberforce, thus appealed to, took a moderate and 
highly honourable part- '* I can* of course," ho said, 
"consent to no compromise, but I shall rejoice iu 
Africa haying such a breathing-time." Accordingly, on 
the SOtli of May he entreated the House of Commons 
to consider a Bill for the Abolition of the Slave Trade 
within a time to be limited. Addiiigton declaimed that 
he should oppose the Bill even thus curtailed, not 
because he thought it unjust, but because he thought f 
it impracticable. *' If," said Pitt, " the motion were 
for the immediate abolition of the Slave Trade, I should 
have no hesitation in giving it my warmest support, 
because I tliink the first moment for abolishing that 
inhuman traffic would be the best, Nevertheless, I am 
ready to support any proposal that can bring nearer to 
us that desirable event. I shall feel satisfaction in any 
meiisure that tends even to a gradual abolition." 

The main body of the West Indians and of the 
King's fi'iends was still against Wilberforce's scheme. 
But on the other hand its limited scope gained it many 
new friends, and on a first division it was carried by 
124 votes against 49^ 

More debates, however, and more divisions ensued on 
the succeeding stages. Earl Temple, the eldest nephew 
of Lord Grenville, took a forward part, in opposing the 
Bill, of which Lord €rren\^lle was to have charge when* 
ever it reached the House of Lord^^ " The ab<:tlition of 
the Trade in Slaves/' he cried, '''will seal the death- 
warrant of every white man in the West Indies." *'I 
say," answered Pitt, " that the death-waiTant would be 
the continuance of the ti'affic. I would ask any man 





T^'iio UBderstanis this subject, wliat he would expect to 
be the result of that continuance for ten years ? " ^ 

With every oxeiiion on the part of Wilberforce and 
of his friends, the Bill did not pass the Commons until 
the close of June. Then the lateness of the season^ and 
the necessity, according to the practice of the Peers, to 
examine eyidence, afforded a strong ground for post- 
ponement. There was a debate wath good speeches 
from Lord Hawkesbury and Lord Grenville, and an 
extreme one from Lord Stanhope, But thexe was no 
division, Wilberforce took the advice which was 
equally tendered him by Bishop Porteus, by Lord 
Grenville, and by Pitt He agreed to defer the 
question until the followung year. 

Meantime it seemed to Mr, Pitt that a blow might 
be dealt at tliis abominable traffic by the mere autho- 
rity of the Crown. The interposition of Parliament was 
not needed in the colonies which we had conquered 
from the Dutch. In these it might be possible to pro- 
hibit the Slave Trade simply by a Royal Pi-oclamation. 
" Pitt very strong on this, and against any vote of Par* 
lianieut/' says Wilberforce, in his Diary of the 3rd of 
July. Wilberforce therefore refrained from stirring 
that point in the House of Commons, But from the 
nmltitude of private interests involved, the question 
proved less clear than was at fii'st supposed. In No- 
vember Lord Harrowby wTote to Wilberforce : " I am 
hardly sure that I am not a perjured Ptivy Councillor 
in telling you that the Order about Surinam and all 

* BarL Debates, vdL ii. p. 551. 




other conquered colonies was actually on tie list of 
Council business on Thui'sday last" Nevertheless some 
further delays ensued, and it was not until next year 
that the promised Proclamation was issued. 

Immediately on the return of Pitt to office, he had 
anxiously applied himself to prepare and produce a 
measure for the public defence — the Additional Force 
Billj as it was called. He gave notice of it for the Ist 
of June, but desiring still more time to mature its 
details, he deferred it till the 5th. It M*as the veiy day 
en which he held his conference with Fox and Grey in 
Downing Street. Thence proceeding to the House of 
Commons, he unfokled at full length liis very compre- 
hensive scheme. The outline of it he had already given 
as a private member of Parliament in his speech of tlie 
25th of April. He desired above all things to remove 
the difficulties which stood in the way of recruiting for 
the regidar army, by putting an end to the competition 
which prevailed between those who recruited for a 
limited term and those who recruited for the general 
serWce. Out of this competition a system of enoi-mous 
bounties had arisen. Bnt he would not be satisfied 
merely to do away these obstacles. He desired to 
create a new additional force that should be a perma- 
nent foimdation for a regular increase of the army* 
There was at present (he said) a deficiency of nearly 
nine thousand men in the number appointed to be 
raised under the Army of Eeserve Bill, It would be 
his first object to complete that number. His next 
would be to reduce the Militia, which had gi-owti to 
seventy-four thousand men, to its ancient establishment 



Chap. XXXIX. 

of forty thousand for England and eight thousand for 
Scotland. The remainder, and what was then deficient 
of the number voted, ho wished to be transferred to the 
additional force. This hie conceived would lay the 
foundation for a permanent establisliment w^hieh would 
yield twelve thousand recruits annually to the regular 
army. The disadvantage of the Army of Ileserve Act 
at present was, that its severe penalties caused sucli 
high bounties to be given for substitutes. He therefore 
wished to make the ballot less burthensome on indivi- 
duals, and both to encoui-age, and, in some eases, oblige 
the parishes to find the number of men that w^as 
assigned as their propoi-tion* If the parishes failed, he 
wished to impose on them a certain and moderate fine, 
to go into the general recruiting fund. The new force 
he would propose to be raised for five years, to be joined 
to the regular anny in the way of second battalions, 
and not to be lieible to be called out for foreign service, 
but to act both as an auxiUary force to the army at 
home and as a stock from w^hich the army could be 
recruited. The plan w^ould have the further effect of 
rendering the regular army far more capable of becom- 
ing a disposable force for any distant enterprLse. 

No sooner was Pittas scheme unfolded than all three 
parties unconnected mth the Government combined 
against it. Their three spokesmen in the House of 
CommuBs — Windham, Fox, and Addington — all rose 
on the very first night and stated their decided objec- 
tions. "I do not know/* said Fox, "whether I shal 
gain any credit from the House, or from the Eight 
Gentlemanj in what I am going to say. But I can 




assure them tbat I have endeavoured, by every effort 
and consideration I was able to apply to the subject, to 
impress my o^vn mind with a favourable idea of the 
Bill.*' In these effortSj as Fox went on to explain, he 
had not succeeded. 

The Second Reading of the Bill was taken on the 8th 
of June. An eager debate which then arose was con- 
tinued tiD half-past two in the morning* ITien the 
House divided, when the numbers were, — 

For the Second Reading . . , , 221 
Against it 181 



EOn the 11th there was another keen debate^ and 
another anxious division. 

For the Speaker's leading the Chair 219 
Against it ........ . 169 

Majority , . . . 50 

And on the 15th again a debate, with two divisions 
taken on points of form and partly by surprise. With 
the Government there were in the last 214, Against it 
186. Thus the majority on that night was reduced to 

The three parties in Opposition were now in liigh 
spirits. They fully hoped that Pitt might be thrust out 
of office before his hold upon it was confirmed. Another 
division on the Bill was announced for Monday the 
18th, and meanwhile the three parties made all jjossible 
exertions to recruit their ranlis. It will be seen from 




tlie following note, that similar exGiidons were by no 
means wanting on tlie Ministerial side. 

Duke of Portland to 3fK Pitt 
*' Deab Sir, " Sunday evening, June 17, 1804. 

** I am very sorry to tronble you with such stuff 
at all, but more so when it cannot but be dissatisfactory, 
and will add to a species of trouble which you ought 
never to know. 

" I very much fear that Mellish will vote against you 
to-morrow. He was shut out on Friday, but I have too 
much reason to think that he came down with views of 
opposition, I have done all I can with respect to Mr. 
Mooue, I.ord E, Speneer, and Sir II. Dash wood. Mr. 
Long w^ote to me about MouLditon and Dawkins : 1 am 
sure the first will come if he is able, and the latter I 
have desired to call upon me to-moiTOW 'morning. 
" Sincerely yours ever, 


Next day^ with an immense throng of Members, the 
expected debate commenced. As the Speaker repoi-ta 
it, Addington spoke against the Bill at eleven, Sheridan 
against it at twelve, Pitt for it at one, and Fox against 
it at half-past two. But of aU the speakers that night, 
none attracted more applause than Canning, who spoke 
earher than all these. Without at all denjong his 
regret that Grenville and Fox were not includtnl among 
the colleagues of the new Prime Minister, he inveighed 
with great energy against the course which Addington 
was pursuing, and against the words which Lord Temple 
had used. He said : '* I fairly and candidly avow that 
I give the Eight Hon, Gentlemim (Mr. Addington) 




credit for the systematic opposition wliich he com- 
menced against His Miije8ty*8 Government the moment 
he left His Majesty's councils, I am glad to see an 
inefficient administjation atoned for by a vigorous 
opposition. And here I wish to take notice of an 
expression made use of by a Noble Lord (Temple), as 
if my Right Hon. friend (Mr. ritt) had been a mere 
accession to the former Ministry, without any change 
having taken place, I shall content myself here with 
vindicating my own consistency. I objected to the 
admimstmtion of Foreign Afiairs, and that has been 
changed, I objected to the Naval administration, and 
that has been changed. I objected to the Military 
administration, and that has been changed. I also 
objected to the general snj>erintendence of the whole, 
and that has been changed. In objecting to the 
inefficiency of the late Ministers., I was joined by nearly 
all these who are now in opposition. The Noble Lord 
hasftirther said that the pubhc were disappointed in 
the formation of the present Ministry ; amongst that 
public I candidly confess that no man was more dis- 
appointed than myself," 

Not only xiddington but all his followers were greatly 
stung by the woiii# " systematic opposition,** Addington, 
as it chancedj was out of the House at the moment, but 
Mr, Bmgge (who» from an estate which he inherited, had 
now assumed the further name of Bathurst) rose imme- 
diately after Canning and protested against the phrase. 
So also did Addington himself when he spoke kiter. 
At half-past three in the morning the House divided 
with the following result : — 

It may be noticed of this hard won majority of 42, 
that it was little hirger than the last on which Ad- 
diiigton had resigned, Yet, under the circnrastances of 
Pitt's recent accession to power, and of the fact that 
many Members were ah*eady pledged to the military 
measures of the last administration, it was thought n<jt 
unsatisfactory. It proved decisive, not only of the Bill, 
but of the Session. The Bill passed the House of Lords 
after a keen debate and a division, in which of the Peers 
present 84 said Content, and 50 Not Content, The 
Session was prolonged, not by further party struggles, 
but by the ordinary course of public business. On the 
7th of July Mr. Pitt brought down a Message from the 
King, " desii'ous that this House will enable him to take 
all such measures as may be necessary to disappoint or 
defeat any enterprise or design of his enemies, and as 
the exigencies of affairs may require.'* Tbese words 
proved to be a Parliamentary circumlocution for a Vote 
of Credit It w^as granted accordingly, and without 
debate, to the extent of 2,500,000?. for Great Britain, 
and of 800,000?. for Ireland About one-half of the 
fonner snm woukl be required for payments already due. 
There were debts upon the Civil List to the extent of 
above 500j000/. There was a deficiency in the Navy 
Estimates to the extent of 320,000^. There was an 
additional expense of 160,000?. attending Volunteer 
Corps, from the days of exercise haying been increased, 



ODd from so great a number (one liimdred and seTcnty 
thousand men) having been called out on permanent 
duty* But, as Pitt obseiTed, after those and other 
deductions^ there would still remain a sum of about 
1,300,000/. applicable to any emergencies that might 

The Session was fiulher prolonged by a Bill upon tlie 
Com Trade, which had been sent up from the Commons 
and which came back from the Lords, There, in op- 
posing it on the general principle, Earl Stanhope stoml 
alone. But there some amendments in detail were 
made, which it was feared might trench upon the 
Commons' privileges* On these Mr. Pitt went to 
consult with the Speaker. ** We agreed," says the last, 
"that the Lords' Amendments must be laid aside, and 
a new Bill brought in, which being for money, trade, 
&o^ must go tiirough all the regular stages, and would 
cost one week's more sitting for Parliament.'* Such 
were the sacrifices then willingly endured upon a point 
of form. 

The Session having thus been protracted to a date 
most unusual at that period^ was closed on the Slst of 
July by a Speech from the King. *^ His Majesty," so 
the Speaker notes, "looked extremely weU, and read 
the Speech vrith great animation, but accidentally 
turned over two leaves together, and so omitted about 
one-fourth of his intended Speech. It happened, how- 
ever, that the transition was not incoherent, and it 
escaped some of the Cabinet who had heard it befoi'e 
the King delivered it'* 

At this time the King not only looked but was in 




fact qiiite well. To confirm his reeovery he set out 
with the Queen and Princesses to pass the autumn at 

No such relaxation was in store for Pitt at Walmer 
Castle. We find letters &om him dated Downing 
Street, in the very middle of September.^ Under hia 
master-guidance active measures of defence were every 
where in progress, Martello towers— so called, accord- 
ing to Mr. Windham, from a place of that name in 
Corsica ^^ — ^rose at intervals along the southern coast. 
A defensive canal and dyke of great strength were 
dra»Ti across the plain from Hythe,' The chief 
direction of such measures might be nominally vested 
in Lord Chatham, but in truth it devolved on Mr. 
Pitt. He could seldom be spared from London during 
more than two or three days, and even these days of 
absence were for the most part employed in reviews 
and inspections. 

On this last point I notice ivith regret a passage in 
one of Lord Gienville's most familiar letters, which, if 
he conld have been consulted^ I do not think that he 
would have chosen to make public, lie writes as follows 
to Lord Buckingham, August 25, 1804 ; *' Can any 
thing equal the ridicule of Pitt riding about from 
Downing Street to Wimbledon, and from Wimbledon to 
Cos: Heath, to inspect military carriages, impregnable 

* Diaries of Lord ColchefiteT, 
vol. i. p. 524. 

* Pari, HiBtf vol, i., New Seriefl, 
p. 173. 

7 See tlie disparrtging letter from 
the first Lofd EUenbomugb, in- 

serted in Lord Sidmouth*fl Life 
(voL ii, p, 396). Tliia work was 
to extend for tliirty^six miles* ot 
wlikh in October, 1805, fourteen 
were completed. 




batteries, and Lord Chatham's reviews? Can he pos- 
sibly be serious in expecting Bonaparte now ? " Exactly 
similar to this was the opinion of Fox expressed exactly 
a year afterwards. He writes to Grey, August 28, 1 805 : 
"The alarm of invasion here was most certainly a 
groundless one, and raised for some political purpose by 
the Ministers." 

It is certainly not a little strange to find the most 
eminent men out of oiSce in England so completely 
deluded and deceived, as I will presently show, on the 
true design'3 of the Government in France. But why^ / 
in the first place, should Pitt be deemed deserving of r 
ridicule for his cares on that account? When the 
spirit of the people was once roused, could he do better 
than still further to animate that spirit by his presence ? 
When tbe funds for the national armament had been 
voted by the House of Commons, could he do better 
than see wuth liis own eyes that they were duly and 
properly applied ? No doubt the pursuits of a library 
or garden may be more delightfid. No doubt it may 
be pleasanter to pass one's time as Lord Grenville m^% 
that he passed his, 

/ " You will find me here very peaceably rolling my 
wallcs, and watering my rhododendrons, without any 
thought of the new possessor to whom Bonaparte may 
dispose them.'* Such were the words of Grenville, 
writing to his brother from Dropmore^ April 12, 1803. 
Like these also were his words October 26 the same 
year: "I can hai'dly help woDdering at my own folly in 
thinking it worth while to leave my books and gardens 
even for one day's attendance in the House of Lords." 



Cbap. XXXIX. 

Tlio greatest respect is due to the memory of a v^n 
80 able and so aeeoraplished as was Lord Grenville. 
Nor are the emplo}Tneiits of either the scholar or the 

I horticulturist to be lightly esteemed. But we must ac- 
knowledge the far different responsibilities of a states- 
man out of ofiSco, and of a Minister placed at the head 
of public affairs in the midst of a perOous war. 

y But further still it is a striking fact that the period 
when Lord Grenville thongbt it so ridiculous to expect 
the coming of Napoleon y^m the yery period at which 
Napoleon had absolutely determined to come. This 
fact is placed beyond all question by the French 
archires. " This fact/' says M. Thiers, " has been some- 
times doubted, but can be doubted no longer by any 
one who sees m I have seen several thousand official 
letters which all combine to the same point'* ^ It may 
be added that several of the secret letters from Napo- 
leon to Decres, Ministre de la Marine, and from Decrfes 
\ to Napoleon, are interspersed by M. Thiers in the 
/ course of his own most, interesting narrative, 

tm. Napoleon then had fully fixed his plan, although 
imparting it to as few persons as possible, since he well 
I knew that secrecy must be one main condition of success, 
' He would attempt the invasion of our Kentish shores on 
I ' some day in the month of August. With this purpose 
he repaired to Boulogne on the 20th of July, and took 
on himself the chief command* But he did not rely 
solely on the vast army or on the vast flotilla there 
assembled* To combine with their enterprise he had 

• Hist, du Oonflukt et de TEmpire, voL v. p, 467* 




fj*ametl another project well worthy of his genius. It 
wa8 of the highest importanc^e that when they began to 
cross the Channel they should be protected by a large, 
and, if possible, a superior French fleet Now, there J 
were eighteen ships of the line at Brest under Admiral I 
Ganteaunie, but these the English held blc3ckaded. Tliero ft , - 
were five ships of the line at Eochefort under Admiral/ JV 
Villeneuve, but these also the English held blockaded^ | 
Toulon, on the contrary, from its greater distance, was 
less suspected, and from its position could not be so 
closely watched. Here there were eight, and would be 
soon ten ships of the line. With these a skilful and 
intrepid seaman — and such was Latouche Treyille, to 
whom Napoleon had assigned the high task — might 
sally fortli in the direction of Egj^t, and allow a 
rumour to prevail that he intended the reconquest of 
that country. But> on tbe contrary, turning short 
through the Straits of Gibraltar, he might suddenly 
appear first before Ilt)chefort, and then before Brest, 
rally to himself the squadron of Villeneuve and the 
fleet of Ganteaume, and then mth all the ships com- 
bined sail straight to Boulogne. It seemed certain 
that for two or three days at least the English would 
not be able to oppose to theni an equal force ; and 
during these two or three days the descent might be 
fully made. " Let us be masters of the Channel for 
six hours, and we are masters ofj^he world ! " Such are 
Napoleon's own words in a secret letter to Latouche 
Treville, dated the 2nd of July.^ 

Tliieis, vol. ?. p. 1»9. 

Here then was the whole of this itiost able plan 
decided and matured. Nothing was changed in it, 
except only that Napoleon, on a view of the work^ at 
Boulogne, thought a little further time desirable for 
their completion, and postponed the period for the enter- 
prise from August to September. Napoleon was then 
in negotiation with the Court of Korae. He carried his 
point that His Holiness should prejMire to come to 
Franco and to crown him Emperor at the shrine of 
Notre Dame, But he requested that the journey miglit 
lie deferred until November, by which time he antici- 
pated his own return in triumph from his English 

Napoleon ako directed M. Denon, then at the head 
of the French Mint, to prepaxe a medal in eommemora- 
tion of his expected conquest. The die being made 
accordingly, was ready to be used in London, bxit owing 
to the coiu'se of events it was subsequently broken. 
Only three medals struck from it now, as I have heard, 
remain, two in France and one in England, There has 
been, however, an imitation cast, and of these copies I 
have two in bronze. The medal bears on one side the 
usual head of the Emperor crowned with laurel On 
the reverse Hercules appears lifting up and crushing in 
his arras the monster Antaeus ; the motto being Deacente 
en Angleterre^ and below in smaller letters Frappe i 
Londres en 1804, 

All preparations, even down to the medal, being 
madcj Napoleon sent to Admiral Latonche Treville Ids 
final carders to put to sea. But a mightier power forbade 
it Latonche Treville fell sick, and on the 20th of 





August died, Tliere was no second officer of that fleet 
in the secret of the intended expedition. There was no 
longer at Toulon either the head to direct, or the hand 
to execute. After some doubt and hesitation a personal 
friend of Decres, Admiral Villoneuve from Rochefort, 
was named to the vacant post. The critical moment, 
however, had already passed. No sufficient time re- 
mained that summer to imbue the new chief with the 
necessary knowledge both of the details of the fleet to 
which he was appointed, and of the difficult operations 
which he was required to command. 

Under such circumstances Napoleon with whatever 
disappointment felt it necessary to postpone, and, 
indeed, to new-model his plans. He left the expedition 
from Boulogne to another year, and meanwhile turned 
his thoughts to another object of scarcely less importance 
y to his dynasty, and which until even the last moment was 
y fraught with obstacles — his coronation as Emperor by y^ 
fihe head of the Catholic Church. 

Meanwhile the English arms were not inactive. In 
May a dash was made by Sir Sidney Smith before 
Ostend. He sought, but without success, to prevent 
the junction of a small part of the enemy's flotilla 
from Flushing, In July some of the outlying boats at 
Boulogne were attacked by Captain Owen of the Im- 
mortal ite frigate; and in August some at Havre by 
Captain Oliver of the Melpomene, Neither of these 
oflSeers could report more than a very slight achieve- 
ment. But in October thero ensued an euterjirise of 
much loftier pretensions. Great hopes had been formed 
at the Admiralty of certain vessels which were filled 

VOL. IV. 1» 



Chajp. XXXIX, 

witli combustibles, and called Catamarms. These were 
to be towed close luider the enemy's ^n-boats, and 
there to explode in a given time. To try this great ex- 
periment, Lord Keith, with his squadron, appeared ofl' 
the coast of Boulogne. It was mid by some i>ersons 
who did not calculate the distance that Mr. Pitt and 
others of the J[inistry woidd 1 le witnesses to this exploit 
from the ramparts of Walmer Castle.^ 

On the 2nd of October, then, the attempt was made. 
Seeing about one hundred and fifty of the enemy's 
flotilla outside the pier, Lorf Keith directed the Cata- 
marans against them. Twelve in succession were sent 
forward and exploded, hut without the slightest mischief 
to the enemy's ships or batteries. Our smaller vessels 
in advance coidd withdraw in perfect order, and without 
tha loss of a single man. The French, on their part, 
acknowledged the loss of twenty-five in killed and 
wounded. But such was the sole result of an exi>eri- 
ment on which the public hi England had been taught 
to build J and had buUt, the most towering hopes. 

Out of Europe we had better fortune. In the West 
Indies we reduced the Dutch settlement of Surinam. lu 
the East we defeated the French squadron of Admiral 
Linois. Tliis last success was enhanced by tlie reflection 
that it was acldeved solely liy the merchant vessels of 
the Cliina fleet. There also by land we had signally 
triumphed. Sir Artlnu' Wellesley had now commenced 
his long and splendid career of victory. In the course 
of 1803 he had gained over the Mahrattas tiie two great 

* Anu, Hegiflter, 1804, p. 142. 




battles of Assye and Argaiim, A peace was tten con- 
cludod most honourable to the administration of Lord 
Wellesley, and establishing, for a long time to come, 
the security of our Indian empire. 

During this antnnm, Cliarles the Fourth, King of 
Spain and the Indies — or rather Gotloy, Prince of tlie 
Peac^e, who govenied in liis name— grew from an un- 
arowed an open, and therefore perhaps the less danger- 
ous, enemy. For a long time past the Spanish rulers 
had been wholly snbservient^ to the First Consul. They 
had even agreed, as we have seen, to pay him a monthly 
Bubsidy towards the expenses of his war with England — 
a proceeding of which England was most justly entitled 
to complain. Still, howeyer, we refrained from any 
measure of retaliation. But Mr. Frere, our Minister at 
Madrid, was instructed to deliver a note, which he did 
accordingly on the 18th of Febniary, 1804, stating that 
so long as the Spaniards continued in a position of 
merely nominal neutrality, any naval armament in theii* 
ports must be considered as putting an immediate end 
to the forbearance of England. 

Such was the state of things when, in the course of 
the September following. Admiral Cochrane, who waa 
cruising off the coast of Gallicia, sent home intelligence 
t]iat ordei's had been given by the Court of Ma(hid for 
arming, without loss of time, at Ferrol, four ships of the 
lino, two frigates, and otlier smaller vessels ; and that 
similar ordei^s had been given at Carthagena and at 
Cadiz. Lord Han*owby at once wrote directions to Mi\ 
Frere to use the strongest language with the Spanisli 
Minister for Foreign Aflairs, *' You wiU state to M, 




Chap. XXXIX. 

de Cevallos that it is impossible to cofisider tMs pro- 
ceeding, unaccompaiiied as it has been by any preyious 
explanation whatever, in any other light than as a 
menace directly hostile. It imposes upon His Majesty 
the duty of taldng, without delay, erery measure of pre- 
caution, and particularly of giving orders to his Admiral 
off the port of Ferrol to prevent any of the Spanish 
ships of war from sailing from that fo\% or any addi- 
tional ships of war from entering it His Majesty 

cannot allow Spain to enjoy all the advantages of 
nentralityj and at the same time to carry on against hira 
a double war, by assisting his enemies with pecuniary 
succours to which no limit is assigned, and by obliging 
him, at the same time, to divert a part of Ids naval force 
from acting against those enemies, in order to watch the 
armaments carried on in ports professing to be neutral."' 
The answers returnetl by M, de Cevallos at Madrid 
proved to be, as was foreseen, altogether unsatisfactory. 
Mr. Frere demanded his passports, which were sent him 
accordmgly on the 7th of November. But meanwhile 
the EngE-^h Cabinet had thought itself fully entitled to 
act on the previous warning conveyed by Mr. Frere in 
the month of February. It had at once sent orders t/> 
detain the treasure-ships on their way from America to 
Spain. Acting on these ordei*?, near Cadiz, on the 5th 
of October, four English frigates fell in with as many 
Spanish, laden with dollars from the Kio de la Plata, 
The Spanish command er, when summoned, would not 
allow himself to be detained. An action ensued, when, 

^ DesfMktch from Lord Harrowby to Mr, Frere, Sept. 29, 1804 

tlTB or PITT. 



i>f the four Spanisli ships, three were captured and one 
l>lew up. 

At these news M. d'Auduaga, the Spanish Minister in 
London, called upon Lord Harruwhy and asked for 
** explanations *' — as though the act tUd not suflSciently 
explain itself! ** I told liiin/* stdd Lord Harrowhy, 
*' that the Court of Madrid could have no reason to he 
wurprised that such a step was taken, after the note de- 
livered by Mr. Frere on the 18th of February last 

I told him that this was the first and most 

obvious of the measures of precaution which had been 
announced It had been thought right to announce 
precisely the intention of engaging the ships of war 
which niight attempt to sail to or from Ferroh because 
it would depend upon tlie Spanish Governmeut, after 
receiving such an intimation, to give such orders m to 
their sailing as it might think proper, and to prevent 
a hostile meeting between the two squadrons* But 
to have announced more particularly the intention of 
detaining the treasure-ships must either have been per- 
fectly useless, if the Spanish Government had no means 
of giving them notice of such intention, or must have 
afforded the opportunity of rendering it completely 
abortive.** ^ 

The result, as might be expected, was, in the course 
of Deeeml>er, a Declaration of War from the Coiui of 
Spain, It was accompanied by a Proclamation from 
the Prince of the Peace — quite worthy of the quarter 
from which it came. He described the measures of the 

3 Dospakb to Mr. Fier^ October 21, 1804. 



Chap. XXXIX. 

English for the detention of the treasure-ships as ^* these 
robberies, these acts of treachery and assassination/* 
He told ** those distant islanders" to "hide their dis- 
honoured heads," and to *' tremble at the contemplation 
of their ill-gotten wealth," And he deshed to remind 
them that the Spaniards were the same people— and 
even, as he might have added, without the advantage 
of any Godoy at that time to lead them — who had 
already triumphed over the Carthaginians, the Eomans, 
the Vandals, and the Saracens. 

On the 2nd of December the new Sovereign of 
Fiance was crowned in solemn stat^ by the Pope at 
Notre Dame. At the news of the Papal journey when 
actually commenced, it was clear to the English people 
that the French descent upon themselves was no longer 
imminent. There was a respite from the expected 
battles either by sea or land. Yet still amidst the 
weight of his pubhc cares, Pitt moved but little from 
the neighbourhood of London. He only paid short 
visits of one or two days to a few of his friends: to 
Mr. Eose at Cuffnella, and to Lord Camngton at 
Wycombe; to Lord HawkesbuTyat Coombe Wood, and 
to Lord Abereom at the Priory near Staiimore. 

The last-named nobleman I may observe in passing 
even as Lord Hamilton bad been always among his 
friends. Li 1784 the third number of the 'Eolliad* 
winds up with that name a Pittite list — 

*' And the dark brow of solemn Hamilton," 


In 1789 he succeeded to the Earldom, and in 1790 
was raised to the Maiquisate of Abercorn. All through 




life, that too solemn manner which the *RoUiad' notes 
was a subject of good-humoured raillery from those who 
J knew him best. On one occasion it is said he requested 
I -an interview with Pitt, and went accordingly to call in 

I Downing Street **I was much -relieved," Pitt said 

I I afterwards, ** when I found that ho wanted only to be 
I a Knight of the Garter ; for from his way of coming 

in, I was afraid that he meant to ask for my interest to 
be elected Emperor of Germany ! " 

But besides these rapid visits to the Priory and to 
other places, Pitt ere long felt the want of some quiet 
country seat of hia own. Finding how much he was 
now debarred from his favourite but more distant retreat 
of Walmer Castle, he took on hire, as in the autumn of 
1784, a small house upon Putney Heath. 

It was, perhaps, during such brief intervals of leism-e 
that ilr, Pitt put on paper some notes for further 
thought, which are still preserved in liis own hand- 
writing, by the care of Mr. Adams. Only the titles or 
superscriptions are here added by myself. 

The War. 

(Paper-mark 1803.) 

*' Whether the attacks should be numerous or few in 
order to strengtlien them, and in what points : — 

"•1, South of liali/. — Besides Neapolitans, 10 or 
15,000 British troops and as many llui^sians ; besides 
free corps raised in Albania and Italy, the latter by the 
King of Sardinia, 

" 2. North of Italy^Switzerland and South of Ger- 
many. — Austrian troops supported by 60,000 Bussians 
as auxiliaries. 


" North of Germant/.^-40,000 Eussians, with a body 
of Hanoverians, a Swedish army, and a diversion from 
England. To advance towards the Low Countries. 

" The operations on the two flanks may be modified 
according to the conduct of Turkey. These will pro- 
bably only act when^forced. Austria and Sweden may, 
it is thought, be brought to act volimtarily. 

" It is not meant by diversion that any descent should 
be made from hence in the beginning, but that we 
should continue to menace their coasts, and not at- 
tempt anything in the interior till after some decided^ 

^* Advantages to be given to any Power if necessary 
should be regulated with a view to the future safety of 
/ Europe, and the zeal shown by each Power. It is sup- ^. 
j posed nothing can be proposed for Prussia consistent j. ; 
I with the safety and interests of the rest of Europe,!- 
except the provinces she ceded to France. Austria is' ■ 
expected from the little which has passed to be very 
moderate, and content with inconsiderable acquisitions 
in Germany and Italy. 

"King of Sardinia should not only be re-esta- 
blished, but his share should be made as large as 

" Switzerland should be arrondi^ and its position 
strengthened as much as possible. 

" The same principle should be followed with respect 
to HoUand." 


(Paper-mark 1803.) 

. / " The present situation of the German body neither 
V /good for the countries themselves nor for Europe. 

" Should a part of it be englobi by the two great 
Powers, or a third great State formed in the middle of 




Germany? This can source be thought of, from its 
injuBtice to so many Princes of the Empire. 

" Could a more concentrated Federative Government 
be formed out of the difl'erent States ; and should not in 
that case both AuBtria and Prussia be separated from it? 
** Principle of mediation being to precede ^van 
"Intimate onion necessary between England and 
Russia, who are the only Powers that for many years 
can have no jealousy or opposite interests." 

jj NapolecTL 

Y "I s^© various and opposite qualities — all the great 
and all the little passions unfavourable to public tran- 
^ quillity— united in the breast of one man, and of that 
man, unhappily, whose personal caprice can scarce 
fliictnate for an hour without affecting the destiny of 
Europe. I see the inwai-d workings of fear struggling 
w^ith pride in an ardent, enterprising, and tumultuous 
mind. I see all the captious jealousy of conscious 
usurpation dreaded, detested, and obeyed — the giddiness 
and intoxication of splendid but unmerited success — 
the arrogance, the presumption, the self-will of un- 
limited and idolized power, and — more dreadful than 
all in the plenitude of authority — the restless and in- 
cessant activity of guilty but unsated ambition." 

f It is not clear what was the object of this fragment 
upon Napoleon. At first sight it might appear intended 
for a speech. But as I learn fi-om Mr. Adams, and have 
heard also from many other quarters, it was not the 
practice of Mr. Pitt to compose beforehand and write 
down any part of the speeches which he designed to 
make ; nor does any other fragment such as this appear 
among bis papers. 



Chap, XXXIX. 

There are many persona to whom the judgment of 
Napoleon as here expressed may seem on some points 
unduly severe. They must remember that it was not 
drawn on disjmsaionate observation as in a period of 
peace, but was levelled at a powerful enemy expected 
day by day to invade us. 

Having here given the judgment of Pitt upon 
Napoleon, I feel tempted at the risk of some digression 
to give also in this place the judgment of Napoleon 
upon Pitt.* It is comprised in some manuscript memoira 
which have been only a few months since used by 
M. Thiers. We find then that on the 11th of June, 
1815, the day before he set out for his Waterloo cam- 
paign, Napoleon was conversing with his Hiflinisters on 
the difficulties of his newly granted Constitution. " I do 
not know/' he said, " how in my absence you will man- 
age to lead the Chambers. Monsieur rouch6 thinks 
that popular assemblies are to be controlled by gaining 
over some old jobbers, or flattering some young en- 
thusiasts. That is only intrigue, and intrigue does not 
carry one far. In England such means are not alto- 
gether neglected ; hut there are greater and nobler ones. 
Eemember Mr* Pitt, and look at Lord Castlereagh ! - . . 
v^With a si^ from his eyebrows, Mr. Pitt could control 
^ I the House of Commons, and so can Lord Castlereagh 
I now, . . , Ah I if I had such instruments, I should not 
If be afraid of the Chambers. But have I anything to 
resemble these ? "* 

During the last half of this year Mr. Pitt and Lord 

Hisi. du Consulat et de rEuipire, vol. xU. p. Gld, publi^lied Aug« 1861. 




Eldon were engaged in, as it proved, a very thankless . 
and vexatious business. This was to negotiate a re-j 
conciliation lietween the King and the Prince of Wales. / 
His Boyal Highness, ever since a military post had been/ 
denied him, was anxiooe to show any personal slight in 
his power to the King. For example, it was known that 
His Majesty was strict in requiring the attendance of his 
family and household at the Drawing Eoom held every 
year in honour of his birthday, on the 4th of Jnne. In 
1804 not only did the Prince on that day remain absent 
from Court., but to prove tliat his absence was not owing 
to indisposition, he drove through the streets upon the 
coach-box of his barouche.* Nevertheless, a reconcilia- 
tion was desired by liis own friends as much as by the 
King's, Lord Moira and Mr, Tiemey acted mainly on 
the one side ; Mr, Pitt and Lord Eldon on the other. 
They prevailed on the high contracting parties to have 
an niterview in the summer at Kew, before the King set 
out for Weymouth. It was to take place in the pre- 
sence of the Queen and the Princesses, and only general 
conversation was to pass. At the appointed time their 
Majesties and their Eoyal Highnesses were ready, when 
there came a note which the Prince had addressed to 
the Chancellor, and which tlie Chancellor transmitted 
to the King* It was to excuse himself from attending 
His Majesty on account of illness. " This excuse," said 
the King, ** I most readily accepted, and ^Tote so to the 
Chancellor." « 

* Diaries of Lord CJolchesleT, 
ToL i. p* 517* 

* See tliii King's own account 

to Rose at Weymouth, Sept, S0» 
1804. Diftriea of Mr. Boae, vol. ii. 




Chap* XXXDL 

In the autumn, however, this UDpromismg negotia- 
tion was renewed. The King desired to have under his 

own eliarf'e the ediieation and household of the Princess 

Charlotte, now almost nine years of age, and heiress 

presumptivG to the Throne. Lord Moira was under- 
stood by Ml*. Pitt to signify the Prince's assent ; and 
the other points of difference being then adjusted, an 
interview of formal reconciliation between His Majesty I 
and His Royal Highness was brought to pass at Kew, 
The King was nest proceeding to form the establish- 
ment of the young Priacesa. As chief Preceptor he 
desired to name Dr. Fisher, Bishop of Exeter ; and as 
chief Governess, Lady George Mxirray, a pei*son of most 
unexceptionable character, w^hose late husband. Lord 
George, had been Bishop of Si David's. But at the 
last moment the Prince of Wales drew back. He I 
declared that he never had intended to put his daugh- 
ter's education out of his own control. He declared that 
Lord Moira had exceeded his powers ; while Lord 
Moira, on his part, declared that he had not said what 
Mr, Pitt supposed* In the mean time the young 
Princess was removed to Carlton House, and the dissen- 
sions in the Koyal family, dissensions which all good 
subjects had trusted to see hushed up, were again and 
as painfully renewed* 

These family dissensions extended also to the iU- 
raated and ill-fated Princess of Wales. Mr. Pitt had 
been from the first determined not to see her oppressed. 
To his memory Mr, Brougham, as lier Counsel at the 
Bar of the House of Lords, October 3, 1820, in solemn 
strains appealed : " Mr. Pitt was her earliest defender 




and friend m this country. He died in 1806, and but a 

I few weeks afterwards the first inquiry into the conduct 

lof Iler Royal Uighness began.'* But the more Mr. Pitt ^ 

'desired to shield her from her enemies, the more he/^ 

was bound to warn her of her faults. The conduct of 

Her Koyal Highness in her retirement at Blackheath 

was on some points disrespectful to the Prince, and on 

others, to say the least, unguarded. At Caffnells in 

October, 1804, Mr. Pitt told Rose that he and the 

Chancellor had made to the Princess in the most eaniest 

manner their jouit remonstrances, which Her Royal 

Highness received in the coldest manner possible, 

utterly unmoved for a long time. At last made sensible 

of the absolute necessity of some change in her conduct 

by the effect that would otherwise be produced in the 

public mind, she promised an alteration. But Pitt said he 

had little hope that the alteration would be really made. 

India, also, at this time claimed the Prime Minister'a 

attention. Tlie conduct of Lord Wellesley in the 

matter of the Subsidiary Treaties, and the disapproval 

of the Court of Directors, made his return almost a 

matter of necessity. Lord Castlereagh told Lord Com- 

wallis that " Mr. Pitt had entered thoroughly into the 

business," and had come to the couclusion that a change 

was indispensable.' Lord Wellesley, however, was at 

this period very willing to retm-n ; and there was no 

breach in the feelings of amity between him and Mr. 

Pitt The question was, then, as to the choice of the 

new Governor-GeneraL The Duke of Portland made a 

7 Oornwailia Cbjrreap&ndenc^, yoL ill. |». 522. 

Chap, XXXIX. 

^most earnest appeal to Mr. Pitt in Lehalf of his second 
son, Lord William Beiitinck.^ But Sir. Pitt, in con- 
junction with Lord Castlereagh, prevailed on Lord 
Cornwallis to undertake for the second time this 
arduous task. 

Another transaction in which Mr. Pitt was at this 
time engaged related to Lord Auckland, We have 
seen that when Mr. Pitt was forming his last adminis- 
tration, his Lordship had heen almost as of course 
removed from his office as Joint Postmaster-GeneraL 

Lord Aucrkland had of his own one or two large 
diplomatic pensions. His wife had -a further pension 
of 800/, a year. His son had a rich sinecure as an 
Auditor of the Exchequer, Now, as Lord Auckland's 
own pension was suspended during Ms tenure of office, 
it was computed that his loss of income by the loss 
office would not exceed 500/* a year. Pitt was of 
opinion that Lord Auckland's diplomatic services would 
warrant a second pension of that amount to Lady 
Auckland, and he desired in that manner to promote 
the pecuniary comfort of the family. There is some- 
thing in that course, as it strikes me, highly character- 
istic of a noble nature. Pitt would not consent to any 
renewal of intimacy where once, as he thought, that 
intimacy had been abused ; but on the other hand, 
Pitt desired to shield his former friend irom every loss 
beyond the cessation of his friendship* 

There was from a point of form some delay at the 
Treasury in giving effect to the arrangement. At its 

a MB* letter in the Pitt Papcsts, dated Dec. n» 1804, 

1804. LIFE OF PITT* 231 

close we find Lord Auckland write on it as follows to 
John Beresford at Dublin: *'I told you at the time 
that when I quitted the Post Office it was signified to 
me that His Majesty had approved of my haying an 
income equivalent to what I was losing, and that I had 
\Tritten and had received an answer graciouB on that 
point and very confidential on another point. I mutit 
now do Mr, Pitt the justice to say that he has com- 
pleted that business in a way that places me indepen- 
dent of pohtical chances and changes, and is al&o more 
beneficdal to my family," * 

Lord Auckland also wrote to Pitt himself, and I here 
subjoin his letter. I doubt if that letter receivetl any 
reply. I am sure that it produced no renewal of 

« My DEAB Sie, " Eden Farm, Dec. 18, 1804. 

"Having learnt from the Treasury that the 
warrants which you had recommended in consequence 
of my quitting the Post Office are now in a state of 
completiou, I should be dissatisfied with myself if I 
omitted to expire se a warm and grateful sense of your 
kindness and favour shown to me during a long c<jurso 
of years, and on many occasions both public and do- 
mestic That kindness is more especially felt in the 
present instance, as its effects may be eventually 
material to the person whose interests you know to be 
justly dear to me beyond all worldly considerations. 

" Permit me to add, that whatever may have been the 
misconceptions, or the causes of grievance, real or 
imaginary, on either part, I now consent, and think it 

• P,S. dated Nov.20, 1804, in the Beresford Correspondence, yol. ii. p. 308. 



Chap. XXXIX. 

Tight, that in the comparative iiifirmities of human nature 
the whole should he charged to my side of the account. 
But let it he understood, on the other hand, that I have 
ever preserved the same afiection towards you, without 
interruption, and in all times and circumstances. 

" Nor have I ever ceased to reflect, with a mixture of 
fair pride, pleasure, and regret, that bo many of the 
happiest days of my life have heen passed in your con- 
versation and society. 

« Ever affectionately and sincerely yours, 

" Auckland.*' 

In the letter to Mr. Bercsford, from which I just now 
quoted. Lord Auckland also gives some new^s of the day, 
and this among the rest : " I much fear that the Arch- 
bishop is going." Here he refers to his brother-in-law, 
Archbishop Moore of Canterbury. The life of that 
Prelate was indeed well imderstood to be in danger; 
and the chances of his succession began to be discussed. 
Foremost among the probable successors was a cousin 
of the Duke of Eutland, Dr. Manners Sutton, Bishop of 
Norwich and Dean of Windsor. In this lost capacity 
he had become well known to and most highly esteemed 
by the King. At Cuflnells, in October, Hia Majesty 
expressed his hope and belief that he and Mr. Pitt 
should agree in Bishop Sutton to Bucceed Archbishop 

On this point, however, His Majesty was much mis- 
taken. In the course of November a new competitor 
^appeared. This was another Bishop and Dean — Dr. 

1 DiaricB of Mr. Bose, vol ii. p. 194. 




JFomline, Bishop of Lincoln and Dean of St. Paurs, 
He first stated his pretensions in a letter to Eose, which 
he requested Rose to lay before Mr. Pitt ;* and Mr. Pitt 
Mi once espoiis*3d his cause with all the zeal and warmth 
of an early friend. But the further progress of this 
aifair will best be shown by some correspondence of the 
Bishop himself, 

Bishop of Lincoln to Mr, Hose. 
'' My DEAB Sir, '' Deanery, St. Paul's, Dec. 3, 1804. 

" I went to dine and sleep at Putney on Satur- 
day, and Mr. Pitt, as soon as he saw me, told me that 
he was to be at Windsor the next day or two, and would 
certainly speak upon the subject about which you have 
so kindly interested yourself. He desired to see me 
this morning at breakfast at Putney; but he came do^^-n 
late, and I could not see him alone, although he said 
before a third person, * Bishop, I want to speak to you, 
and must get into your carriage with you/ He did so, 
and told me wbat had passed. It is by no means 
decisive ; but as far as it goes it h rather favourable, 
inasmuch as no fixed determination or promise was 
mentionetb although a very strong wash and opinion, of 
course against me, or mther in iavour of the other 
person, were expressed. The Lord Chancellor was 
present at Windsor. Mr. Pitt means to write fidly upon 
the subject, which he thinks better than conversation 
in the present state of the King. I am confident that 
he will do ever)4hing in his power, short of absolute 
force. NothiDg can be more kind than his manner and 
expressions ; and my mind is perfectly at ease, indeed 
much more than at ease. 

3 Diaiies of Mr, Boseg vqL il, p. B4. 



Chap. XXXIX. 

*^ I have but a momeot to say that I rather think we 
shall remain in town and at Fulham till Saturdity, wlieii 
we skill go to Wycombe to meet Mr, Ktt at Lord 
Carrington 8. Adieu, my dear Sir. 

** yours ever most cordially, 

*' G. Lincoln. 

** Things are getting worse than ever with the 

" My dear Sib, " Wycombe, Bee. 11, 1804. 

" I received your letter oii Saturday, just as we 
were settiug out for this place to meet Mr, Pitt, Mr. 
Pitt carae hither to dinner on Saturday, and went away 
yesterday morning ; he seems remarkably well, and in 
high spirits : he thinks that additional strength in the 
Honse of Commons ia very desirablej though not 
absohitely necessary. It will be derived from a quarter, 
if from any, which will not give much satisfaction to 
yon and me. While he was here ho %vrot© the rough 
copy of a letter to His Majesty, relative to the expected 
vacancy, as strong and as land as I could wish ; but 
still we all of us consider the event as uncertain. . . . 
*^ Yours ever most affectionately, 

« G. Lincoln.** 

"Bnckden Palace, Dec, 18, 1804, 

'* Mr, Pitt lias received no answer to his letter on 
my business." 





1804 — X805, 

Besignotioa of Lord Harrowby — Eeconoilifttion T>etweeTi Pitt and 
Addington — Gommt^iitpi of Lord Camd«3n and Bkhop ToniHne — 
Lord Mnlgruvy appointj^t! Secretary for Foreign Affiura — Oaiining 
profiosea to retire — Addington becomes President of tlie Coiuinil 
and yiscoimt Sidmotitli — Ltjtter from Nupoleou to George the 
Third — Deiitlia of Lohi Loug:hl>t>rcmgh and of Archbiahop Moore 
— Application from Biahop Pelham — Parliamentary debates — 
Establishment for the Princess Charlotte — Pitt's hwt Budget 

Early in December, and through an nntoward accident, 
It, Pitt lost the aid of a principal colleague. Lord 
Harrowby missed his footing on the stone stair-case of 
the Foreign Office, and fell on the front part of hia 
head. He was bo much hurt that for some days his life 
was thought to be in danger. Eyen when he had re- 
covered^ his nerves were bo much shaken, and hia health 
was so far impaired, that he found it necessar)^ to send 
in Ids resignation. It was a great loss, and one not 
easy to supply. 

Before he made the new appointment which this 
misfortune rendered requisite, BIr, Pitt resolved to 
follow out the idea which had occurred to him of a 
considerable accession to his ranks, WTiy might not 
Pitt and Addington act once more together? They 
were now, it is true, upon the coldest terms. " I know," 
writes Thomas Grenville to a brother, ** that only two 



Chap, XL. 

days before, lapon Pitt touchiDg his hat as he paBscd by 
Addiogton, Addiogton observed to Dyson, who was 
riding by his side, that eyen tiat greeting was new to 
him." ^ Yet nothing had occurred between them incon* 
sistent with the high honour of either* Nothing had 
passed to make impossible a renewed of their ancient 
friendship. If Addiogton would join the Government 
heartily and fully, there woidd follow not less than forty 
Members who had continued to adhere to him, and 
there would be established, beyond all the efforts of 
Fox and GrenvUle, a sufficient Ministerial majority in 
the House of Commons. 

With these views the first step of Mr- Pitt was, 
through Lord Hawkesbury, to sound Mr. Addington. 
Finding the disposition favourable, he next wrote to 
consult the King* There could be no doubt of His 
Majesty's delighted acquiescence.'"' The negotiation then 
proceeding, a personal interview between the two states- 
men was arranged. It took place at Lord Hawkesbury *s 
country house, Coombe Wood, on the afternoon of Sunday 
the 23rd of December; and Mr. Addington subse- 
quently gave a full account of it to his friend the 
Speaker. It appears that Lord Hawkesbury quitted the 
room before Jin Pitt came into it; and Pitt on entering 
etrotched out his hand to Addington and said, " I re- 
joice to take you by the hand again." The interview 
continued three hours without any third person being 

1 Cotirte and Cabinetfl of Geoiige 
th© Third, vol iii. p. 4tJ4, 

* See IB my Appundix Mx. Fitfa 

letter from bia villa at Putney. Dec 
17^ 1804, and tlie King's answer 
tlie next day* 




present, and "not without some emotion,*' as Tklv. Ad- 
diugton related it.' 

Next day, at Richmond, there was another Lnter- 
yiew between the two statesmen of an hour's duration, 
and on Wednesday the 26th Pitt went alone to join 
the family dinner of Addington at Eiehmond Park. 
Their old feelings of intimacy seemed to be rapidly 

There were, however, many matters to adjust. Ad- 
dington required explanations both as to the Spanish 
War and the Additional Force BilL Then as to office, 
Pitt proposed that Addington should go up to the House 
of Lords and accept the Presidency of the Council, which 
the Duke of Portland from ill health wtis very ready 
to relinquish. Addington, on the other hand, ^rished 
to remain in the House of Commons, and to take a seat 
in the Cabinet without office. Pinally he gave way 
upon both these points, though not without much regret 
and some correspondence. But he insisted that if he 
did take office, he must carry into the Cabinet witli him 
at least one friend, namely Lord Hobart, who had 
recently Bucceeded t^) the Earldom of Buckinghamshire. 
He must also claim that Bond, Braggo Batbnrst, and 
others of his friends should be considered for lesser 
offices as vacancies might arise. 

Pitt readily promisGd to consider these gentlemen 
hereafter. The other condition was rendered possible 

* DiaricB of Lord Oolcliefiter, 

vol. 1. p, 537. Ht5 g^wea as the dato 

of iliifi int-ervit^w Monday the 24t>i, 

mt thiB must be oJi error , avnc43 botk 

the KiTig*9 letter in luy Appendix 
fltid Mr. AdtliiigtoTi's in Dean Pel' 
lew*B biography zmme the Sunday, 



Chap. XL* 

at preaent by the arrangement which Pitt made for tie 
Foreign Office* After some consideration he determined 
to appoint Lord Mulgrave, who, among the few stat-es- 
men then at Ids disposal, seemed to him best fitted for 
the post, and who would leave the Chancellorship of the 
Dnchy, with a seat in the Cabinet^ open to Lord Bnek- 

We find Pitt, on Christmas Day, write to Lord 
Chatham and announce the coming event. 

'* Bromley Hill, Dec. 25, 1804. 
"My dear BnoTHER, 

'* On considering carefully the state of parties, 
and the nature of the oi)position we have to eneonnterj 
I have Batisfied myself that though we should certainly 
have strength enough to stand our groimd, our majority 
would not be such as to meet difficult questions with 
advantage, or to prevent much possible embarrassment 
to the public service, as >¥€ll as uueasiness to the King's 
mind. Under this impression I have felt it my duty 
not to let any recollection of past differences stand in 
the way of recruiting, as far as possible, those whose 
former luibits and opinions render them most likely 
cordially to concur in supporting the King's Govern- 
ment. I trast you will think that I have decided as I 
ought ; and you wiU, I am sure, be happy to hear that 
I have in consequence had a communication with 
iiddington, which led to our meeting the day before 
yesterday, and again yesterday morning; and that 
having found his disposition perfectly coiTesponding 
with my own, we have had no difficulty in coming to a 
perfectly fiiendly and cordial imderstanding, and in 
ha\ing a very satisfactory explanation on all the cliief 
jjublic points which are now depending. If the Duke 




of Portland slioiild not be diismelifled (which he proba- 
bly will not) J either now or a short time hence, to open 
the Presidentship of the Council for Addington, and if 
I can succeed in fimling some proper office for Lord 
Boekinghamshire, snch an arrangement mil be very 
satisfactory to x\ddington. At all events he seems 
thoroughly determined to give every pcissible prrxjf of 
his dLsposition to snpport Government. I shall be kept 
in town still some days, partly by this and other busi- 
ness, aud partly waiting for a west wind, but I hope hy 
the end of the week to run down to Bath. 

** Ever, my deal" brother, &c., 

**W. Pitt." 

Lord Chatham, as we find from his answer, rejoiced 
at the tidings. But^ on the other hand, Pitt had to 
encounter much repugnance on the part of many of his 
followers. So early as the 21st there was, for example, 
a letter of great length upon the subject from one who 
was both a Cabinet colleague and personal friend. A 
few paragraphs from that letter will suffice to show its 
general purport. 

Earl Gamdmi to Mr. Pitt 

" Deae Pitt, •* Arlington Street, Dec. 21, 1804. 

" As you have told me tliat nothing makes you 
so bilious as arrangements, my only excuse for trou- 
bLing you upon them is, that they have the same effect 
on me, ..... The communication already made to 
the Khig and Sir* A. must show how far you ai'e per- 
sonally inclined to go for the good of the King's 
service for the sake of the former, and how ready you 
are to forget injmies from old regard to the latter ; and 

240 LIFE OF PITT. Chap. XL. 

if there is an opening from the present state of the 
negotiation that Mr. A. should delay coming into oflSce 
till after he has supported Grovernment, I cannot ex- 
press the anxiety I feel you should not suffer it to 
pass by. The union of Grenville and Fox, for the pro- 
fessed purpose of forcing a Government on the King, is 
reason enough for Mr. Addington to join in the support 
of your Government, and it is the only creditable line 
he can take ; but to make it so, he ought not now to 

take oflBce I am differently circumstanced 

from any of your colleagues, for during the v\rhole of the 
last year prior to the change I had that sort of commu- 
nication with persons of all parties in endeavouring to 
keep them, as far as I could, to one point, which of 
course produced remarks not very friendly to Adding- 
ton, so that an immediate union with Mr. A., not pre- 
ceded by any previous support on his part, will make 
me feel extremely uncomfortable. 

" Most sincerely yours, 

" Ca4iden." 

Bishop Tomline, also, was by no means friendly to 
these overtures. He details their progress as follows : — 

Bhhyp of Lincoln to Mr. Rose. 
" My dear Sir, " Fulham Palace, Dec. 27, 1804. 

"Yesterday Mr. Pitt was preparing to go and 
dine at Eichmond with Mr. Addington. He expressed 
himself perfectly satisfied with the interview on 
Sunday, and related to me the principal things which 
passed. It was not settled what particular oflSce Mr. A. 

is to have I stated to Mr. Pitt how much better 

it would be that all this should be deferred for some 




months, and that in the mean time Mr. A* and Li.s 
friends should mpport, Mr. Pitt thought that this 
could not be accomplished, and assigned some reasons. 
The whole was to be talked over yesterday after dinner. 

" Mr, Ktt was in high spirits. He talked of going 
to Bath on Saturday or Sunday, if the wind continues 
east, and sending to Plymouth and Falmouth, and 
desiring that Mr, B, Frere, if he should arrive, would 
go to Bath, instead of going directly to town. Mr. Pitt 
would return to town about the 9th j but I am of 
opinion, upon the whole, that he ^ill not go, and more 
especially as there is some impoi-tant Eussian business 
which must be settled before lie can leave town, exclu- 
sive of this |>olitical arrangement; and he must also 
go to Windsor, which j indeed, he might perhaps do on 
his way to Bath, On the other hand, he may perhaps 
want to return to town after he has seen His Majesty. 

"I shall remain quietly here to-day, and intend to 
be in Downing Street to-morrow morning, before 
Mr. Pitt's breakfast hour, for the chance of getting 
some conversation with him. Had I been at Buckden, 
Loi^d and Lady Grenville would have dined and slept 
there yesterday, the very day Mr. P. dined with Mr. A. 
What a paragraph for the ne^vspapers ! 

" I expect to see Lord G. at Buckden, on his way to 
Lord Carysfort's* He has promised. Adieu. 

'* Always most affectionately yours, 

"G. LiNcour.'* 

Bishop of Lincoln to Mr. Mose. 

" My DEAK Sir *' Beaneiy, St. Patd'sj Deo. 29, 1804. 

"I read your letter, which I found upon my 
coming from Ht Paid's this monmig, on my way to 

VOL. IV. liL 



CuAP. XL* 

Do\^Tiing Street. I went to Mr. Pitt, in liis dressing- 
room, which he was just leoviiig ; and he was seart^ely 
'Striated at his broakfiiat-taWe, when lie said, *Have yon 
heard from Rose lately ? Does he know what is going 
on ? ' I told him that I had given you a general idea 
of the business, ns I eoncliided he (3Ir* Pitt) would have 
no objection. * Quite otheri^ise, for I have intendi^ to 
write to him myself, but could never find leisure. I am 

glad he knows it frora you ' He said he would 

write to you to-day, if possible ; if notj upon his road to 

Bath. He still talksof setting out tomorrow 

But I must conchide. I am going to an early and 
short, dinner with Mr, Pitt, that he may prepare for his 
Bath jom*ney, of which I have still some doubts. Let 
me hear from you, 

" Yoiurs ever cordially, 

"G. LmcoLK. 

" Eeeollect that there was no difference of prineiple 
between Mr. A. and Mr. P., and that Mr. P. ridiculed 
him as Fimt Minister. The King approves of Lord 
Mulgrave. Kotliing new about the arrangement. Mr. 
Pitt agreed to meet Mr* A. yesterday at Hatsellk 
Mr. A. came to to\^Ta on purpose, and after waiting an 
hour and a half, he sent to Downing Street to inquire 
after Mr. Pitt The answer was that he was gone to 
Windsor, and was not expected back for several hours ! 
Mr. Pitt forgot the appointment that they were to meet 

Addington felt no displeasure at the unexpected 
absence of Pitt from Mr. Hatsells when ho found that 
it had been caused by a sudden summons from the 
King. So he learnt from the King himself, who came 
in a friendly manner and without fuilher notice to call 




upon his former Minister at RichmoncL The King 
further desired AddiDgton to attend him the next 
duy. This he did accurditigly. ** I am just returned 
from Kew" — so writes Addington to his brother— 
** where I paased an hour and a half with Hia Majesty, 
and pai-took of his dinner, which consisted of mutton 
chops and pudding. He was in excellent spirits, and 
quite welL" * 

In the letter from Bishop Tomlino which I just now 
inserted, the Bishop seems to think thtit Mr. Pitt after 
all would not make his intended visit to Bath. Here 
Im Lordship proved a true prophet. The calls of public 
business forbade it. jMueh as Pitt's physician pressed 
the journey, much as his health required it, he found it 
necessary to remain in or close to Downing Street 
until the meeting of Parliament 

At Bath^ Pitt had expected to meet Lord Mulgrave, 
Instead of going, he wrote to his friend on the last day 
of the year, and proposed to him the Foreign Office. 
Lord Mulgrave accepted the offer with alacrity, and at 
onca appointed as his Under Secretary of State his 
brother-iu-law, Mr. Bobert Ward, the future author of 

Of all Pitt's fiiends at this time there was certainly 
no one to whom the junction with Addingt-on was 
nearly so unwelcome as to Canning. This can be no 
matter of surprise to any one who recollects how keen 
were the satires he had written, how adverse the senti- 

* life, by Dean Pellew» vol. ii- 
p. 342. 

* Mc moira af Wiml, by the Hon. 
Edmuad Piiippa, vuL i. p» 162, 



Chap. XL. 

ments he had expressed. His mortification on the sub- 
ject is most clearly shown in a confidential letter which 
he wrote on New Year's. Day. 

Mr. Canning to Lady Hester ^tanhype. 

" South HiU, Jan. 1, 1805. 

"Your letter, dear Lady H., has afibrded me all 
the comfort that is to be derived from the confirmation 
of the very worst of my apprehensions. But even this 
is some relief after the state of tormenting ignorance 
and anxiety in which I have been kept for the last ten 
days. To say that I am not heavily disappointed in 
respect to one result,^ or that I look with indiflFerence 
at the other, as it affects myself, would be an unworthy 
dissimulation. Undoubtedly I should have been grati- 
fied, I hope from better than merely personal motives, 
by the opportunities which a different result in one case 
would have given me, and I do not pretend to despise 
the advantages which the other takes away. But 
stronger stars have prevailed, and I must give way. 

" I am almost sure I need not tell you, I am sure I 
need not remind Mr. Pitt, that the change which makes 
Mr. A. a Minister brings back precisely that state of 
things under which he was kind enough to say, of his own 
accord, in more than one conversation last spring, but 
particularly in that which took place between us the 
morning after he had been with the King, that he would 
not have pressed me to take oflSce,' nor would he have 
thought it becoming in me to do so. Of the difference 
between taking or keeping subordinate office, under 

® Lord Mulgrave's appointment, 
and Mr. A.'s. (Note on the MS. 
by Lady Hester.) 

' In thQ case of Mr. A/s forming 

part of the Government, as 0. had 
abused him so openly. (Note by 
Lady Hester.) 




these same circTinistaiices, I am not aware ; and I am 
perstiaded that the general feeling, the first thooglit of 
everybody who condescends to think of me at all in 
tliis business, is that the same arrangement which places 
Mn A* in the Cabinet displaces me* 

" You will perhaps ask rae why, with this consequence 
in my mind, I did not state my opinions more fully when 
the suhjert of the negotiation for Jlr, A/s return was 
first mentioned to me at Putney. 

" I will tell you why. In the first place, the measure 
was mentioned to me, not as asking my opinion, hut as 
announcing what was to be. In the second place, I in- 
ferred from what was said, that Peerage and Pension, 
not Cabinet office, was what it was in contemplation to 
give to Mr. A, ; and to this I was so far from having 
the smallest objection, that I believe Mr. Pitt will do 
me the justice to remember that I was at least one of 
the first after the change who expressed a wish that 
such a proposal could be made acceptable to A.; and 
that I repeated to him a conversation that I had had 
with, I think, Samuel Thornton, in support of that 
suggestion. In the third place, I was totally mistaken, 
as I suiee find, as to the time at which the aiTange- 
ment, whatever it might be, was to be made ; for 
when I asked if any step had yet been taken towards 
the negotiation, I understood Mr, Pitt to answer — No, 
I did then give my opinion very fully, thinking that 
question still open, as to the extreme diflerence and 
disadvantage of bringing the matter about, as has now 
been done, by private overtures, and unexplained agi-ee- 
ment, instead of letting it gradually ripen in Parlia- 
ment, and grow out of the course of things which would 
naturally arise there, if A. was either ready to make 
proposals, or desirous of receiving them. 

" A. is (if I understand your letter right) a Minister, 
and I am- — iiotliirig, I cannot help it. I camiot face 
the House of Commons or Avalk the streets in tliis 
state of things, as I am. I wish only that I could 
have foreseen tbis, among other things which you toll 
me I am accused of having foreseen (and now boasting 
my foresight of them), in the spring. 

"But wlierefore do I write all this to you? Because 
it is introductory to something wliich I wish to have 
said, — to a request which I wish to make to him ; and 
through yoii I come to him with more confidence of not 
being mi.simderstood* You stand instead of pages of 
preface and apology, and as a voucher for us to each 
other that we mean eat^h other kindly and fairly, 

*^ Wliat I have to ask is this, and it is the most im- 
portant favoiu: that he can grant, or I receive : that he 
will make what is inevitable, as little disagreeable as it 
can be, by making it, at least in part, his owti act. I do 
not mean by sending me my dismissal, but by appearing 
io consider my reti'cat as a natural, if not a necessary 
conscfjuence of tbe other transaction — lamenting, if he 
w^ill, that I should have committed myself so much 
as to make serving imder A, personally discreditable tti 
me ; wishing, if he pleases, tliat I did not feel it tu be 
so; but admitting at the same time to others (as he 
has before to myself), that he does not wonder that I 
should so feel it, and cannot blame my acting upon that 

*' There are two quarters particularly where, if he 
entertains these sentiments (and assuredly he did enter- 
tain theoi), he would do me incalculable service by ex- 
pressing them. First to the King, with whom, for no 
political purpaso, but because he has been always very 
good to me, and I fear he thinks I was wanting in duty 
(which Grod knows I was not) to him, I should wish if 




possible to stand weU, and who, though he may per- 
haps resent an act that looks like hostility to A» has, if 
I mistitke not, a cordial approbation for even a mistaken 
eense of honour; and whom, above all, I would not have 
think that I am capable of looking elsewhere for favour, 

" The other place is Wimbledon/ where Mr, Pitt's 
declaration that he is satisfied would save me a world of 
hopeless explanation, and where I know nothing else 
that would obtain for me a chance of being miderstood, 

" For the rest I care not. 

** And DOW, dearest Lady IL» do not throw down this 
letter in a passion, and condemn it as the first burst of 
disappointment upon the first reading of your letter. 
Be it known to you, I received your letter last night, 
and have slept upon it (as much sleep as I could get 
after such a letter), which you are aware is an infal- 
lible recipe for sober thinking, 

*' If 1 am not much mistaken, there is not one expres- 
sion of anger, resentment, irritation, or extravagance, nor, 
I am sure, a witty one (which is the next crime in de- 
gree), throughout the whole. I have avoided too, I hope 
I have, e^ery symptom of sensibility; for when I think 
with what sensibility, and whose, mine has been weighed 
in the scale, and foimd wanting, I am sick of the word 
and the thing. I have written, too, without consultation 
or communication with aij/ (male) human being, nor 
shall I be hasty to speak or writhe upon the subject. 

" Adieu, dear Lady H. You are very good to attempt 
to console me with all the fine things that are said of 
me, and particularly the advantage of having such a 
person * qfloat* I shall be ^ afloat,^ you see, and per- 
haps in the sense that yom* friend likes best^ though he 
might not tell you so. 

^ Lord Melville "i house* 

248 XIFE OP PITT. Chap. XL. 

*^I need not say I wish to hear from you. It will 
be a great comfort to me to hear from Mr. Pitt The 
only thing that I have felt unkind is, that during the 
agitation of questions so peculiarly interesting to me, 
he should not once have written, nor expressed a wish 
to see me. Now, I suppose, we shall hardly meet, as 
he does not appear to have put South Hill among the 
excursions which are to take the place of Bath (I wish 
he could have done so), and I see no business that I 
have in town ; and besides, my everlasting leg is just 
now not in a state to go there. 

" I am sending a servant to town, and you will there- 
fore get this letter, as I did yours, before going to bed. 
Sleep upon it soundly, and let Mr. Pitt see all, or as 
much of it as you think right, to-morrow. 

" Adieu. God bless you. 

"My servant does not return for a day or two, so 
write not by him, but by the post" 

I do not know what reply may have been given to 
this letter. Probably Pitt himself conversed with his 
youthful friend. Probably it was Pitt who wrought on 
him to stay in office, not on any selfish grounds, but as 
a call of public duty, at a period of national danger. 

It might be easily foreseen that the indisposition 
felt by Mr. Canning towards Mr. Addington would be 
just as great upon the other side. "As to Canning, 
Addington said his feelings never could be altered ; he 
never could meet him; but he had no desire to in- 
terfere with his private friendships, or prospects of 
success." ^ 

Meanwhile the proposed arrangements were in rapid 

^ Diaries of Lord Colchester, vol. i. p. 540. 



progress, and attained their full eompletion. Tlie Earl 
of Biickingliainsliire became Chancellor of the Duchy. 
]\Ir. Addington became President of the Council, and 
was raised to the Peerage as Viscoimt Sidmouth. The 
first person who wrote to him under his new designatiozi 
was Mr. Pitt himselt 

" Downing Street, Friday, 
"Deae Lobd Sidmouth, Jan. 11 , 1805, 6 p.m. 

"The Duke of Portland waives the Chancellor- 
ship of the Duchy, uni agrees to remain in the Cabinet 
without office. Nothing could l>e kinder or handsomer 
than his whole conduct: and, imless lie should be mom 
unwell to-morroWj our Cabinet is to be at Burlington 

-H^^^' " affectionately yours, 

As to Lord Sidmouth's friends, Mr, Pitt expressed his 
hopes to make a very early opening lor some of them 
in lesser office, and meanwhile he became reconciled to 
them all. " Steele and Pitt shook hands on Thursday 
last ;" so notes the Speaker in his Diary. It is most 
pleasing to find the close of the short estrangement 
between these very early and very cordial friends. 

MeanwhUe Mr. Wilberlbrce had written to consult 
i\Ir* Pitt as to the necessity of his attendance at the 
Meeting of Parliament, and Pitt had replied as follows : 

** Downing Sti-eet, Jan. 4, 1805, 

** My dear Wilberforce, 

"I have hardly time for more than one word, 
id that word I am afoiid must be * Come^ though I 
ny so with reluctitnce under the cijcumstances you 

250 LIFE OF FITT. Chap, XL. 

mention. But by my last accounts Opposition is col- 
lecting all its force, and it is therefore very important 
that we should secure as full an attendance as possible. 
There are a great many poiuts on which I shall be very 
impatient to talk with you, but on which I have no time 
to write. Harrowby is out of all danger, but his general 
health, I am sorry to say, will make it impossible for 
him to encounter any longer the fatigues of his oflBce; 
The loss of his assistance will be a great misfortune, but 
we must do as well as we can. The person whom, on 
the whole, I think best to succeed him is Mulgrave. 
" Ever affectionately yours, 

« W. P." 

Wilberforce did accordingly come up to town. In 
his Journal he relates how one morning he called on 
Pitt, and walked with him round the Park. " * I am 
sure,' said Pitt to me, * that you are glad to hear that 
AddiAgton and I are one again.' And then he added, 
with a sweetness of manner which I shall never forget, 
* I think they are a little hard upon us in finding fault 
with our making it up again, when we have been Mends 
from our childhood, and our fathers were so before us. 
Yet they say nothing to Grenville for uniting with Fox, 
though they have been fighting all their lives.' " ^ 

At the beginning of 1805 there came a letter from 
the Emperor Napoleon to King George the Third. It 
expressed, though in very general terms, a strong desire 
for peace ; but so much were particulars avoided, that, 
ia the judgment of Mr. Pitt and his colleagues, this 
overture was designed for popular effect rather than 

1 Life of Wilberforce, by hia Sons, toI. iii. p. 211. 





positive negotiition. An answer was framed and sent, 
not in His Jlajostj's name, but from Lord Jlulgrave to 
JL de TalJeyrand* It declared that the King had most 
sincerely the object of peace at hearty but mnst, in con- 
cluding it, act in concert with certain of the Powers on 
the Continent, and especialiy the Emperor of Russia* 
^ In January died at Windsor very suddenly, from an 
attack of gout in the stomach, the Earl of Bosslyn, 
better known as Lord Loughborough. Connected with 
his de4ith there is a curious story which Lord Brougham 
and Lord Canipl>ell have already told. It seems that 
when the tidings were brought to Windsor Castle, the 
King himself examined the messenger. He inquired 
again and again whether it might not be a false report. 
** Are you quite sure," he repeated, *' that liord Rosslyn is 
really dead ? " W^en assured that the fact was certainly 
so, and that there could be no mistake about it, His A 
Majesty felt free to exclaim, "Then he has not left a /^ 
greater knave behind him in my dominions ! " ^^ 

Lord Campbell observes, and I concur with him, that 
this stor}^ seems to rest on undoubted authority? I 
have myself heard it from several persons who were in 
public life at the time. 

Such then was the close of that accomphslied and, 
on many points, most eminent man, whom some forty 
years before Churchill had portrayed with almost equal 
bitterness : — 

" That pert, prim prater of the Northern race, 
Guilt in his heart, and famine in his face !" 


252 LIFE OF PITT. Chap. XL. 

Another death in January, but unlike Lord Eosslyn's 
a far from sudden one, was that of Archbishop Moore. 
It brought of course to issue the differences as to the 
choice of his successor. I have not found among the 
Pitt Papers any letter bearing upon them, either to or 
from the King. That which Pitt wrote from Wycombe 
is nowhere, so far as I know, preserved. It seems pro- 
bable, I think, that the decisive struggle took place by 
word of mouth. Lord Sidmouth once said to Dean Mil- 
man, that such strong language he believed had hardly 
ever passed between a Sovereign and his Minister. 

Finally, however, the Sovereign prevailed, and the 
Bishop of Norwich was appelated. Here is a subsequent 
letter from the rival Prelate. 

Bishop of Lincoln to Mr. JRo^e. 

" My dear Sir, " Buckden Palace, Feb. 4, 1805. 

"A thousand thanks for your letter, which I 

received yesterday 

" Mr. Pitt's assurances and exertions upon the occasion, 
though not successful, have given me the most heartfelt 
satisfaction. I had a most kind letter from him the 
beginniQg of last week, which implied that he had 
acquiesced. The triumphs and exultations will give me 
personally no paia — I rather mean on my own private 
account ; but I entirely agree with you that this defeat 
may be of serious mischief upon public grounds. And, 
indeed, I know persons of great consequence who will 
consider Mr. Pitt's acquiescence as very uncreditable to 
him, and who are represented to me as waiting for the 
result of this struggle. I am confident that Mr. Pitt 
has not the slightest idea of resigning or being forced 




out, and that he looks forward to a long contmuance in 


" Yours most truly and afifectiouately, 

'* G. Lincoln." 

The See of Norwich thus left vacant was also of 
course an ohject of ambition. Applications for prefer- 
ment have in general no featin-e of novelty ; but there 
is something, as it seems to me, worthy of record hx 
the plan of soliciting a favour by returning thanks for 
it as though already conferred. On that ground I give 
insertion to the two fallowing letters. The writer of 
the first was Dr. George Pelham, Bishop of Bristol, and 
son of the Earl of Chichester, 


Bishop of Brutol to Mr. Pitt 

" Sin, " Welheck Street, Friday (Feb. 8), 1805. 

** I have heard from so many quartei's that yon 
have been kind enough to think of recommending me 
to His Majefity to succeed to the vacant See of Norwich, 
that I can no longer refrain expreasing my gratitude 
to you, if such is your intention ; and of assuring you 
that by so doing you will be conferring a lasting obh'ga- 
tion upon mo, which I shall ever have a pride in 
acknowledging. « j ^^ gj^.^ ^^^^ 

•* G. Bristol.*' 

Mr* Pitt to tJie Bishop of Bristol. 

__ ** Dowuiug Street, Friday, 

'« My Loed, Fob. 8, 1805. 

** In answer to the letter which I have just had 
the honour of receiving fi'om your Lordship, I am soiTy 

254 LIFE OF PITT. Chap. XL. 

to be under the necessity of acquainting your Lordship 
that the report which has reached you respecting the 
See of Norwich has arisen without my knowledge, and 
that I cannot have the satisfaction of promoting your 

^s'^^s- " I have the honour, &c., ^ 

" W. Pitt." 7 

At the same period the question of an Establishment 
for the Heiress Presumptive was decided. The Prince 
of Wales gave way, or rather came back to his first 
point The entire charge of the young Princess, who 
was now brought to Windsor Castle, devolved upon the 
King. We find His Majesty, in writing to the Chan- 
cellor, mention Her Koyal Highness again and again in 
terms of the warmest interest. " From what he has 
seen of his dear grand-daughter in the few days she has 
been here," the King says he doubts not "she will prove 
a blessing to her relations, and an honour to her native 
country." He adds: "Windsor will be her residence 
for the greatest part of the year, where she will have 
ihe advantage of excellent air and a retired garden, 
which will enable her quietly and with efiect to pursue 
her studies, which certainly as yet have been but little 
attended to."^ 

Meanwhile the Session was in active progress. It 
had been opened on the 15th of January by the King 
in person. The Eoyal Speech announced the war with 
Spain, and promised some explanatory papers. It also 
annoimced the recent communication firom the French 
Government, and the purport of the answer which had 

8 See these letters in Twiss*8 Life of Lord Eldon, toL i p. 481. 




been returned. And while eallmg for measures "to 
prosecute the %var with vigour," the King deeired to 
congratulate his I'arliament on " the many proofs of the 
internal wealth and prosperity of the eoimtry." 

No amendment to the Address was moved in either 
of the Houses. But it became evident from the 
speeches of Lord Grenville in the one, and of Sir. Fox 
in the other, that a most vigorotis opposition was 
intended- Fox especially went over a gi'eat extent of 
ground. He complained that the Roman Catholic 
question was omitted. " I cannot help lamenting," he 
said, " that in the Speech from the Throne there is not 
one word expressive of an intention to recommend 
that subject to our consideration; a subject so imjx^rtant, 
that if it be not speedily taken into our consideration, 
no honest man can say there is anything like stability 
and security to that ptui of the British empire." 

Fox next inveighed against the Additional Force Bill 
of last year ; a measure which he said was now allowed 
to have totally failed. As to the Spanish war Hia 
Majesty had prtmiised papei*s, and therefore to prejudge 
the question WTiuld be unwise. Yet, notwithstanding 
this preliminaiy sejitencej Fox went on as follows: **I 
have^ however, no difiSculty in saying that the seizure 
of the Spanish frigates, loaded and destined as they 
were, does certainly bear an unseemly appearance, and 
one not much to the honour of this country/* 

On all these points the Minister replied with great 
spirit* He said: "The Hon. gentleman began with 
expressing his astonislmient that the state of Ireland 
was not even alluded to, and argued that till the 

256 LIFE OF PITT. Chap. XL. 

situation of the Eoman Catholics was taken into con- 
sideration, that country never can enjoy anything like 

tranquillity or repose But I beg leave, to ask 

how it comes to pass that though four years have 
elapsed since the Union, these measures, which the Hon. 
gentleman now so loudly calls for, have never been even 
once recommended? What is there at the present 
moment which renders those measures so necessary now 
that did not formerly suggest the propriety of their 
adoption ? If he himseK has entertained the same views 
which he professes to entertain, he could not consistently 
have suffered the subject to remain so long dormant. 
What the reasons are which have induced me, who 
entertain very different views of the subject, to suffer it 
to remain dormant, I shall on a future occasion have an 
opportunity of stating; and I flatter myseK that the 
House and the country will give me credit for con- 
sistency when I have stated the reasons which induce 
me still to think that the matter should remain dormant 
at the present moment. 

" The Hon. gentleman has adverted to the Bill which 
I last Session introduced for the defence of the country, 
and has expressed a hope that some more eflScient Bill 
will be substituted in its room. This is not the time 
for a discussion of the subject ; but I feel myself called 
upon to state that I have seen no reason to alter my 
opinion of the grounds on which that Bill was founded. 
And though I admit that its effects in adding to the 
numbers of our military force have indeed been exceed- 
ingly small, nothing that has happened, considering all 
the circumstances under which the Bill was proposed, 




and tlie principles on which it proceeded, induces me to 
think that it was not a measure which ought to have 
been adopted. 

" As t<:» the detention of the Spanish frigates, I am 
persuaded that when the papers are laid npon the table 
the Hon. gentleman and his friends will see reason to 
alter their opinion, and confess that their suspicious 

were erroneous I am persuaded the House will 

clearly see in that transaction only an additional proof 
of the moderation and justice of Ith Majesty, who, in 
circumstances that wonld have wariunted the most 
decided hostihties, \rished as long as possible to leave 
the door open to conciliation, at the same time that he 
was absolutely bound to take such measures of precau- 
tion as not to allow an enemy already too formidable to 
acquire any additional means and resources to carry on 
the war," 

Fox rose again upon the first point: "I wish," he 
said, " to explain why it is that I have not brought 
i forward the subject of Catholic Emancipation. It is 
perfectly well understood that any man bringing for* 
ward this subject unconnected with the Ministry would 
have very little chance of gainmg the abject. It is, 
besides, very doubtful how far the measure would be 
acceptable to the Catholic body, if not taken up as a 
matter of justice and policy by the Executive Govern- 

With all due respect to Mr. Fox, it ceitainly does 
seem to me that his course upon this subject is liard to 
defend — hard even to make clear. In January, 1805, 
he held, as we have seen, the opinion that an inde- 

258 LIFE OF PITT. Chap. XL. 

pendent Member ought not to stir the question, since it 
would be unavailing. In Pebruary, 1806, he held with 
equal firmness the opinion that a Minister of the Crown 
ought not to stir it, since it must harass and wound the 
feeliiigs of the King. It follows then that according to 
the views of Mr. Fox, the question during the reign of 
George the Third, and after the experience of 1801, 
ought not to be stirred at all ; yet this is the very 
position which, when held by his great rival, he so 
bitterly arraigned. * 

All the topics which had been glanced at in tlie 
debate on the Address came on for discussion in a 
separate form, and in more detail. ' Thus, when the 
papers on the Spanish war had been for some time upon 
the table, Mr. Pitt brought forward a vote in direct 
approval of the course pursued. His speech was of two 
hours and a half. So was also the speech of Mr. Grey, 
who followed, and by whom an amendment was moved. 
This debate, which began on the 11th of February, con- 
tinued through the next night, and did not close tiU 
past five in the morning. The result was a great triumph 
to the Government — much greater than the accession of 
the Addingtons suffices to explain. So clear and con- 
clusive was thought the statement of Pitt, that it had 
an efiect far beyond his immediate body of supporters. 
There was in that House, as in every House of Commons 
previous to the* Reform Bill, a no small number of inde- 
pendent country gentlemen returned by close boroughs 
in their neighbourhood, who were not decisively bound 
to a particular party, and who on any great discussion 
voted as the arguments might incline. As regards the 



origm of tlie Spanish war, and the detention of the 
Spanish frigates, aU these gentlemen appear to have 
cast in their lot with Pitt The amendment of Grey- 
was rejected by no less than 313 votes against 10f>. 

Mneh the same was the result in the House of Lords. 
There also, on the 11th of February, an Address was 
proixised by T^ord Mulgraye, as Secretary of State, in 
approval of the course pursued. There also was brought 
forward an amendment which Lord Spencer moved and 
Jjord Grenville supported. But only 36 Peers voted in 
its favour, while against it were arrayed 114. 

On the Additional Force Bill, it was moved by Wind- 
ham, on the 21st of February, that this and other Acts 
should be referred to a Select Committee. Canning 
spoke in reply, and as Pitt reported to the King, with 
especial force and success.* The debate was cut short 
by an early division, and the motion was rejected by 242 
against 96, 

On the 6th of Marcli the delmte was renewed by 
Sheridan in a stiU more pointed form— a motion to 
repeal the Additional Force Bilh Then Pitt himself 
stood forth in its defence. He showed that in point of 
fact the Bill had not come into pi-actical opemtion until 
the 14th of November last He showed also, looking 
at the last three months, that on an average of each 
week there had been nearly two hundred reeruits 
obtained. ** Thus," he said, ** taking thi'ee montlis 
as an average, the result will be that., under the opera- 
tion of the Bill, it will produce an annual addition 

< See in my Appendix the King's reply, dated Feb. 22» 1805, 

260 LIFE OP PITT. Chap. XL. 

of betwixt nine and ten thousand men. I ask, then, Sir, 
with such a statement as this before us, if we can think 
of listening to a proposition for repealing the Bill just 
at the moment when it shall come into full activity ? 
The Hon. gentleman has thought proper to say that not 
one man has been raised by the Bill, and the Eight 
Hon. gentleman maintained that its effects had been 
altogether inconsiderable. But, Sir, I will ask these 
gentlemen and the House, whether the effect which X 
have hinted at be not one of very considerable magni- 
tude ? — whether it be not, in fact, nearly equal to the 
whole of the recruits obtained by the ordinary means of 

But Pitt passed on to portray the common character 
of his opponent's speeches. "The Hon. gentleman 
seldom condescends to favour us with a display of his 
extraordinary powers of imagination and of fancy ; but 
when he does, he always thinks proper to pay off all 
arrears, and, like a bottle just uncorked, bursts all at 
once into an explosion of froth and air. AU that his 
own fancy can suggest or that he has collected from j 
others ; all that he can utter in the ebullition of the 1 
moment ; all that he has slept on and studied, are com- • 
bined and produced for our entertainment. All his ji 
hoarded repartees, all his matured jests ; the full con- 
tents of his common-place book ; all his severe invec- j; 
\ tives, all his bold, hardy assertions, he collects into one ; 
: imass, which he kindles into a blaze of eloquence ; and I 
! out it comes altogether, whether or not it has any, even * 
I the smallest relation to the subject in debate." 
/ This last passage, I may observe, is by no means 




fully given bi the published Parliamentary Debates. I 
deriye it in some part from the inscription nnder an 
excellent caricature by GiUray, which came out only 
four days afterwards, and which was entitled ** IJncork- 
ing Old Sherry.*' Here Pitt appears, a corkscrew in 
his hand, and between his knees a bottle, out of which 
peeps the head of Sheridan. The ** froth and air " is 
scattered all abroad. 

The Minister did not, however, entirely confine him- 
self to a defence of his own measure, or a description of 
Sheridan's eloquence. As Sheridan had expatiated on 
the general field of politics, so did Pitt also. As Sheri- 
dan had claimed credit for the numerous votes which 
he had given to Addington's administration, so Pitt on 
the contrary declared that in his judgment Sheridan's 
had been a hollow and insidious supfiort. 

These words, levelled at a man of sliining genius, 
already by some previous attacks incensed, were by that 
genius encoimtered, and flung bat^k with the greatest 
Hkill. It nuiy remind the reader of a similar attack 
and a similar retort twenty-two years before, with the 
very same antagonist ^- — the one attack near the outset, 
the other, alas, how near the close of Pitt's career ! 
Sheridan was extremely stung. It is told of him that 
while the debate was still proceeding, he went up into 
Bellamy's supper-room. There he ordered a bottle 
of Madeira, poured it into a bowl, and drank it o9? 
Thus was he primed when, at nearly three in the 

' Look back to vol. L p. 97. 
* Deaoriptive Account of Gill- 

mys Cftricatures, by Thomas 
Wright, Esq.. p. 2m, ed. 1S51. 


262 LIFE OF PITT. Chap. XL. 

morning, the other speeches had concluded, and Sheri- 
dan rose to reply. He adverted to the expression 
" insidious support " which Pitt had used. " I hope," 
he said, " it is not my character to give support of that 
description. I gave my support to the late administra- 
tion because I approved of many of their measures ; but 
principally was I induced to support them because I 
considered their continuance in office as a security 
against the return to power of the Eight Hon. gentle- 
man opposite, which ever appeared to me as the greatest 
national calamity." 

The author of the Mivals was by no means satisfied 
with this single taunt. Putting forth all his admirable 
powers of satire, he drew a fancifiil contrast between his 
own support of Addington and that wjiich Pitt had 
given. He accused Pitt of having tapered off from his 
promised adherence as soon as he found that Addington 
was acquiring popularity. He accused him of com- 
bining for the overthrow of Addington with others, 
whom he meant also to betray. And he declared by a 
form of implication that Pitt had "merited the con- 
tempt and execration of aU good men." The minute 
narrative which I have given of all these preceding 
transactions will, I trust, have shown the reader how 
absolutely void of all foundation was this bitter diatribe. 
It may incline us here to say of Sheridan, as he once 
said of another Member, that he was indebted to his 
memory for his jests, and to his imagination for his 
facts. But it is no wonder if at the time a speech so 
pungent and so powerful found high favour with the 
disappointed and angry partisans who sat around him. 




Still, however, on the merits of the question — the 
Atlditional Force Bill — as on the merits of the Spanish 
War, there appeared ^ large prepc^ndemnre of nmnbers 
on the side of Ktt. When Sheridiin sat down, the 
Houge proceeded to divide, and with the following 
result : — 

For Mr. Sheridan's motion . . 127 

Against it ,,••*. , 2()7 
Majority . , 


R another night Pitt, and Fox, and Sheridan, all 
voted together, and yet were in the minority. 
This was on the renewed motion of W^Uberforce for 
the Abolition of the Slave Trade. Pitt had earnestly 
advised his friend, considering the state of parties, to 
refrain from bringing it forward ; but WUberforce, im- 
pelled by a solemn sense of duty, persevered. The two 
rival leaders were steady, but the adherents both of 
Pitt and Fox appear to have stayed away in consider- 
able numbers. 

The division was — 

For the amendment 


Against it .,--.•,. 70 
Majority against the Bill . 7 

I never felt so much on any Pai'liamentary occa- 
sion," writes Wilbeiforee in his journaL 

On the ISth of February Mr, Pitt brought forward 
his last Budget* There w^ere vast expenses to provide 

264 LIFE OP PITT. Chap. XL. 

for. The Army and Militia Estimates were above 
eighteen millions and a half. Large as was this sum, 
it fell a little short of the Vote in the preceding year. 
The Ordnance Estimates were nearly five millions, the 
Navy above fourteen millions and a haK. The Miscel- 
laneous Services would require a million and a hal£ 
" But," said Pitt, " there is yet another article of Supply. 
.... Gentlemen are aware that we have been engaged 
in a Continental intercourse and correspondence. . . • 
It must be the wish of every man who hears me that 
this intercourse and correspondence should be so pur- 
sued as to restore peace upon grounds calculated to 
produce and establish that ultimate security which is 
the object of all our wishes and all our efforts. But 
seeing what we do see, and knowing what we do know, 
it would indeed. Sir, be rash and presumptuous in us to 
entertain an expectation that this great object can be 
attained without further sacrifices on our part Feeling 
it to be my duty not to postpone the general Supply 
for the service of the year, I have thought it of extreme 
importance to make such an addition to it as to enable 
His Majesty to afford with effect any succours which it 
may be necessary to afford. I state them at five 

To provide for these certain Estimates and that pos- 
sible Subsidy, amounting on the whole to upwards of 
forty-four millions, besides the interest upon the public 
debts, it became necessary in the first place to continue 
all War Taxes, and, above all, the Property Tax, the 
produce of which for the year was reckoned by Pitt as 
(i,300,000^. It became necessary to contract a new 




Ij»oan of 20,000,000/.; and to meet the interest upon 
that Loan it became necessary to impuso new taxes to 
the amount of at least one million a year. 

The new taxes bronght forward for this object by the 
Minister were of divers kind. There was an addition to 
the rates of postage of one penny for a single letter, of 
twopence for a double, and of threepence for a treble 
letter. There was an increase of the tax upon salt; 
five shillings a bushel in addition to the ten already 
paid. There was an increase of duty, though according 
to different rates, on both the horses kept for pleasure 
and the horses kept for husbandry, 

" The last tax I have to propose," said Pitt, ** is an 
increase in the duty upon Legacies. My firat proposal 
will be to impose a small sum upon direct legacies on 
which no duty is paid now : the sum I wish is one per 
cent Gentlemen will see that it must be difficult to 
estimate the amount of this tax. By a rough guess the 
amount of capital bequeathed in wills registered is 
annually about thirty millions. Deducting five millions 
for legacies charged on land, and five millions collater- 
ally, twenty millions will tlien remain, which, at one per 
cent, will give a produce of 200,OOOZ. The next is to 
supply an omission in the Act which could not be 
intentional^ — I mean the Legacies charged on Land. 
I propose to subject them .to the same tax, and 
that, I calculate, will yield 100,000?. The only other 
addition is on Legacies to strangers in blood* I pro- 
pose to raise the duty on Legacies of this description 
from eight to ten per cent.j which will furnish a sum 
of 30,000^;^ 

yoL. IV. 


266 LIFE OF PITT, Chap. XL. 

On the Budget night Mr. Fox was the only person, 
besides the Minister, who spoke, but there was a fuller 
debate on the night of the Eeport. Fox laid in his 
claim to controvert on a future day the policy as well 
as the amount or application of the Subsidy to Foreign 
Powers. » He found fault with the taxes, and, aliove all, 
with the tax upon Property. " For my part," he said, 
" I prefer taxes on wine, tea, or other articles of con^ 
sumption, to proceeding on dangerous principles, taking 
by little and little firom the property of the subject, till 
the reduction is tantamoimt to the risk of the whole. I 
remember a feble which, to elucidate the force of habit,, 
relates that a woman in a certain Tillage had a calf 
which she accustomed herself to carry in her arms 
every day, and from the gradual increase was able; to 
bear it when it came to be a large ox. The feble is a 
good one, but I do not like it in its application to the, 
present case ; for however we might be able to bear this 
little calf, we could not possibly bear the great fat ox it. 
would grow to." 

This argument as to the possible absorption of the 
entire national property, even though fortified by a. 
good story, was dealt with by Mr. Pitt very shortly. 
For only one single sentence was heard from him in 
reply. " I think it sufficient to quiet the Hon. Gentle- 
man's alarms to say, that, in order to come to the point 
he stated we must continue at war no less than ninety- 
four years ! " 

It may be added, that neither on that night, nor on 
any other, did Fox attempt to divide the House against 
the Taxes he condemned. They all passed with much 




facility, except only tlie Duty upon Husbandry Horses, 
against which the landed gentlemen combined. On the 
12th of March it was thrown out in a thin House by a 
small majority, the numbers being 76 against 73. Next 
day the Speaker, calling to see the Minister upon other 
business, mentioned this defeat. "I shall be prepared/' 
said Pitt, ** with another tax to supply its place, to be 
carried through before Easter^ about which time the 
Subsidy question will be ready." 

Ten days after^rards, accordingly, Pitt brought 
forward what ho called his Supplemental Budget. He 
proposed a great yariety of small Duties to the aggre- 
gate amount of 400,000?. a year, and these he carried 
without difficulty, 

Ou the whole then, in the first two months and up- 
wards of the Session, the course of business had been 
very triumphant for the Ministry, There had been 
many other debat*:s besides those I have enumerated, 
as on the Army Estimates, and on a Bill to suspend 
still further the Habea^i Corpus Act in Ireland. In 
most of these Mr, Pitt had only scant assistance from 
his colleagues in the House of Commons ; but his own 
speeches were very frequent, and maintained all their 
former ascendency. 

Such exertions, however, could not be made without 
a heavy strain upon his health and strength. He had 
hoped for an interval at Easter to go and drink the 
watei-s at Bath, There, as the following letter shows, 
he was secure of a cordial welcome, and of two most 
intelligent companions. 


268 LIPB OF PITT. Chap. Xt. 

Lord Harrowby to Mr. Pitt. 

" 6, Laura Place, Bath, 
" Dbae Pitt, March 31, 1806. 

"I have just heard from Eichard^ that you 
cough and look ill, which I do not like at all ; but I 
should have liked it much less if his intelligence were 
not accompanied with an intimation that you talk 
seriously of a long Easter Eecess, and propose spending it 
at Bath. This is a most excellent project, I hope I may 
say resolution ; and I trust you will not allow anything 
to divert you from it If you do, you sin against your 
own conviction and experience ; and must, I fear, suffer 
much and severe punishment in the latter part of the 
Session. That will not, I hope, be long ; but it may 
be sufficiently troublesome to make it very important 
that you should be a giant refreshed. 

"We shall remain here at least till the middle of 
Easter week, at the end of which a rendezvous with 
Wyatt will carry me into Staffordshire. I depend upon 
your making use of me in getting you a house, unless 
you can be satisfied with a bedroom, dressing-cabinet, 
and parlour, all on the ground floor, which would be at 
your service, without in the slightest degree cramping 
us, either till you can suit yourself or (which would be 
much better) as long as we remain. 

** Yours very sincerely, 


"Lady H. is angry with me for not saying how much 
pleasure it would give us to have you under our own 
roof, such as it is : as I tell her, q%ie cela va sans dire" 

7 The Hon. Richard Ryder. 




Naval adminiBtration of Lord Melville — Tenth Beport of the Commis- 
sioners of Naval Inquiry — Ministerial differences — Whitbread's 
Besolutions — Resignation of Lord Melville — Succeeded by Sir 
Charles Middleton — Discussions between Pitt and Lord Sidmouth 

— The King supports Pitt — The Tenth Report referred to a Select 
Committee — Lord Melville removed from the Privy Coimcil — Re- 
vival of the Roman Catholic claims — Speeches of Gratian and Pitt 

— Diplomatic negotiations — Arrival of M. de Novosiltzoffin London 

— Treaty between Russia and England — Lord Melville impeached 

— Rejection of Whitbread's motion against Pitt — Final resignation 
of Lords Sidmouth and Buckinghamshire — Ministerial arrange- 
ments — The King's decay of sight. 

Lord Melville, at the head of the Admiralty, had 
evinced his usual sagacity and his usual vigour. He 
had found the stores and materials for the nayy 
scattered by the improvident system of his immediate 
predecessor. Here is one instance of the consequences 
as related by himseK in the House of Lords : " Let us 
see what was done by the late Board of Admiralty with 
respect to the building ships of the line from February, 
1801, to May, 1804. In that period it appears that five 
ships of the line were ordered to be built in the King's 
yards, and two in the merchant yards. But when I 
inquired into the state of these five ships of the line so 
ordered to be built in the King's yards, I foimd that^not 


even the keel of any one of them had been laid down ; 
and the reason given for this delay was, that the ships 
could not be proceeded on without more materials and 
more hands." ^ There was strange inconsistency too as 
well as strange improvidence. It appears that on the 
29th of December, 1802, Loixi St. Vincent had written, 
in his own hand, to Sir ilndrew Hamond, with a sharp 
rcbuke in not having bestirred himseKmore actively, 
as "urgent necessity" required, to enter into contracts 
for building some seventy-fours in the merchants' yardp. 
Sir Andrew did bestir himself accordingly, when, to his 
great astonishmentj only a fortnight afterwards, he 
received an Order from the BoaKl of Admiralty, perhaps 
in Lord St Vincent's temporary absence, telling him 
that the measure could on no accoimt be allowed ; that 
contracts were not to be made ; that ships of the Hne 
were not to be built any where except in the King's 
yards ! 

It was now the part of Lord Melville to retrieve the 
errors of a most weak administrator, though vict(3rioua 
Admiral He bought up in aU directions materials of 
eveiy kind, from timber down to hemp, for even hemp 
was wanting. He aroused a new activity in the works 
at the King's yards, and pending their revival, contracted 
for several seventy-four gun ships, to he built in tlie 
merchants* yards. The results of his naval administra- 
tion, which began in May, 1804, were summed up by 
ImnBelf as follows, when he addressed the House of 

^ Debate in the Home of Lords on the Earl of Damley's motioD, 
May 24. 1805. 

272 LIFE OF PITT, Chap. XLI. 

Lords in May, 1805': " So that the whole force, either 
actually added or in a state of forwardness, appears to 
amount to one hundred and sixty-eight vessels more 
than there were on the day of my succeeding to the 
office of First Lord of the Admiralty." Nor was this 
aU : " In the course of ten months, that is from the 
15th of May, 1804, to the date of the Eetums now on 
your Lordships' table, six hundred and one vessels have 
been docked, repaired, and refitted." 

During the administration of Mr. Addington there 
had been some decline in the cordial feeling and the 
constant intercourse between Mr. Pitt and Lord Melvflle. 
They were never again so intimate as they had been 
before. But Mr. Pitt ever estimated at the highest rate 
Lord Melville's talents and experience. If at the outset 
of his last Ministry he had been asked who among his 
Cabinet colleagues were likely to^ give him the most 
eflScient aid, he would probably have named, besides 
Lord Castlereagh in the Commons, Lord Harrowby 
and Lord Melville in the Peers. 

Nor was Pitt disappointed in his expectations of hia 
early friend. The navy in Lord Melville's hands was, 
as I have shown, rapidly rising from its late depres- 
sion, and becoming to the Government, in a party 
sense, a further claim to the public confidence and 
favour. It was natural, however, that in the same pro- 
portion as Lord Melville was serviceable to the Govern- 
ment he 'should be disrelished by the Opposition. It 
was natural that they should seize an occasion to strike 
him, if they could, a blow ; and such an occasion was 
now most unexpectedly afforded. 




To explain the transaction now before lis, it must, in 
the first place, he remembered that at the close of 1802 
Lord St, Vincent, acting certainly from most laudable 
motiveB, had appointed a Commission of Naval Inquiry. 
The Commissioners sent in succeBsively ten Reports.* 
The first nine were for the most, part of a technical 
eharacter, and of Httle general interest ; but the tenth was 
understood, even before it was made public, to bear upon 
the conduct of Lord Melrille as Treasurer of the Navy 
— a post which, in Wv. Pitt's first administration, he had 
held conjointly with other and higher offices* 

To the appearance, therefore, of this Tenth Eeport 
both ptirties in the State were anxiously looking. No 
man felt more anxious than Pitt himself. As it chaneed, 
Wilberforce was ciiUing on him at his office, and press- 
ing him for the pronused Order of Council against the 
Guiana Slaye Trade, on the same morning that the first 
copy was brought in* "I shall never forget/* says 
Wilberforce, "the way in which he seised it, and how 
eagerly he looked into the leaves without waiting even 
to cut them open.** ^ 

The perusal no doubt must have caused him the ut- 
most pain. In the first place it was clearly shown that 
Mr* Alexander Trotter, appointed Paymaster in that 
department by Lord Melville, had mistippHed the public 
money. Sums derived from the revenue had been paid 
to his own accoimt with his private bankers, Messrs. 

« The first ten Rpporta of the 
CoramifiidonerB are priu te<i at length 
in Uie 3id volume of the new seriea 

of ParlmmBntarj Debates, pp. 865- 
* Ldfe, by bb Sons, 7ol. iii. p. 21 8^^ 

274 LIFE OF PITT. Chap.XU. 

Coutts, and employed in his private ventures. Mr. 
Trotter subsequently lu^ed to the Commissioners that, 
after all, the public had not sustaiued any loss from his 
use of the money issued for the naVal service. But the 
Commissioners properly state that they cannot allow 
any weight to this observation. Mr. Trotter might have 
been unsuccessful in his speculations, or the bankers 
with whom he lodged the public money might have 
failed in business; and in either case the loss would 
probably have fallen on the nation. 

Thus far the case is clear. It must also be admitted 
that Lord Melville, when he permitted,* or at least did 
not forbid, Mr. Trotter to keep a part of the public 
money at his private banker's, gave an undue sanction 
to a lax and most pernicious system of account. So far 
as regards that point Lord Melville might be justly held 
culpable. But as regards the rest the case was other- 
wise, as Lord MelviUe's own letter perhaps wiU best 
explain. It was inserted in the Tenth Keport 

Lord Melville to the CommissiomrB of Naval Ingydry. 

" Gentlemen, " Wimbledon, June 30, 1804. 

" It is impossible for me to furnish you with the 
account you ask. It is more than four years since I left 
the office of Treasurer of the Navy, and at the period of 
doing so, having accounted for every sum imprested into 
my hands, I transferred the whole existing balance to 
the account of my successor. From that time I never 
considered any one paper or voucher that remained in 
my hands as of the smallest use to myself or any other 
person ; and consequently, being often in the practice, 


Since I retired to Scotland, of euiployiii*^: oocasionally 
some time in assorting my papers, and destroying those 
that were useless, I am satisfied there does not exist any 
one material by which I coiild make up such an aecount 
as you specify. But independently of that cirenmstance, 
I think it right to remind you tliat during a great part 
of the time I w^as Treiisurer of the Xa\y, I held other 
very confidential situations in Government^ and was 
intimately connected with others. So situated, I did 
not decline giving oeeasienal accommodation from the 
fimds in the Treft8iirer*s hands to other services not 
connected with my official situation as Treafiurer of the 
Navy. If I had materials to make up such an account 
as you require, I could not do it without disclosing 
delicate and confidential transactions of Government, 
which my duty to the public must have restrained me 
fix^m revealing. » i ^^^^ ^^^ honour, &c., 

" Melville.*' 

It appears, then, that these advances of public money 
by Lord Melville as Treasurer of the Navy were con- 
nected with some questions of Secret Service at a most 
critical period of both Foreign and Home affau-s. On 
the other hand, his adverearies did not scruple to assert 
that he had used these sums of money, or the interest 
from them, to his owm private profit and emolument. 
Such is an outline of tlie case on which, in the ensuing 
year, Lord Melville was brought to solemn trial before 
his Peers. As it seems to me, there is no good ground 
whatever to dispute the justice of the sentence which, 
on that occasion, tlie House pronounced. Then of the 
Peers present, a majority wiiich on all the charges, ten 
in number, was large, and w^kich on some of them was 

276 LIFE OF PITT. Chap.^L 

overwhelmiDg, said " Not Guilty on my honour." — " Not 
Guilty " is the sentence which, as I think, the voice of 
History rfiould re-echo. 

The charges against Lord Melville were indeed not 
only unsupported by his conduct, but also, it may be 
said, repugnant to his character. His faults were not at 
all of a mean and calculating kind. They were the 
very opposite of selfish and sordid. If he was unthrifty 
in his control of the public accounts, so to his detriment 
he was also in his own. 

I have here been led to speak of the case as it stood 
at its conclusion, after all the evidence was. produced, 
after all the explanations were afforded. But I must 
now revert to it as it stood at its commencement on the 
publication of the Tenth Eeport. In fairness we are 
bound, as I think, to acknowledge that ever since Par- 
liamentary parties have existed, scarce any Opposition 
would have hesitated, waiving all further investigation, 
to snatch up such a weapon and to aim it at their poli- 
tical foes. It became at once manifest to the Ministers 
that their colleague would be most seriously assailed. 
Mr. Whitbread, though as it chanced absent for some 
days, gave notice through his brother-in-law, Mr. Grey, 
that on the 8th of April he should bring forward a 
motion founded on the Tenth Keport He had at first 
designed a Committee of Inquiry, but emboldened by 
the spirit which he saw around him, he drew up ready 
to move a series of eleven Eesolutions condemning in 
the strongest language the conduct of Lord Melville. 

Here is a note from Mr. Canning in preparation for 
the coming onset : 




Mr. Canning to Mr. Pitt, 

** Somerset House, Saturday, March 23, 

•* Can you lend me the Reports of the Commissioners 
of 178f] ? Those of 82 and of 97 I have, but those of 86 
are not to ho found at any book8eiler*8 in town. 

*' Shall yon have half an hour this morning, or in the 
earlier part of to-morrow — that is before three or four 
(as I dine at Blackheath) ? 

" You are not aware of half the strength of the 
defence that may be made. 

** If T.* and L^' M.* had either said everythmg or 
nothing^ there would have been no difficulty. 

" Ever affectionately yours, 

^' G. C," 

But though Canning himself was firm, many others 
wavered. The very notice of the motion impending 
produced a ferment, and w^ell nigh a schism, not only in 
the Ministerial party, but in the Ministry itself. Pitt 
was from the first resolved to defend his colleague. In 
vain did some of his personal friends in the House of 
Commons declare themselves imdecidtjd as to their own 
votes, and press him to leave Lord Melville to his fate. 
Wilberforce and Bankes especially went together to 
Downing Street upon this painful errand As the 
former tells it, " We saw Pitt on Melville's business, 
and talked to him above an hour; Bankes very frtink, 
and Pitt very good-hnmoured." But they made no 
impression. *'In truth,*' said Wilberforce long after- 


* L<jrd MelvUle. 

278 MPB OF PITT. Chap. XU. 

wards, "Pitt was chiefly led into supporting Melville 
by that false principle of honour which was his great 

.Here Mr. Wilberforce was mistaken. It was not 
chiefly from a sense of honour, true or fitlse, that Ktt 
proceeded. He believed his friend to be innocent of 
the main charges brought against him. He could not 
indeed deny a culpable laxity in the superintendence of 
Mr. Trotter's accounts ; but he was quite sure, and so 
he said to Wilberforce, that there had been in Lord 
Melville nothing of personal corruption — in his own 
words, "no real pocketing of public money." It is 
strange that Wilberforce, who has recorded this saying 
also, did not perceive its application to. Pitt's conduct in 
this case. For since Pitt was firmly convinced of Lord 
MelviUe's personal integrity in these trans8u;tions, he was 
bound not in honour only, but in conscience and in duty, 
to stand forth as his defender. 

Within the Cabinet there was no less dissension. 
Lord Sidmouth in the last year of his administration 
had become very hostile to Lord Melville. He had 
observed, with some resentment, the same statesman on 
whom he had conferred a peerage foremost among 
those who planned and who achieved his overthrow. 
Therefore, while desiring, as he always did, to act justly 
and fairly, he read the Tenth Keport with an unfa- 
vourable bias lurking in his mind. When Mr. Pitt 
asked his opinion upon it, Lord Sidmouth answered 
that he thought it not only improbable but impossible 

« Life» by his Sons, vol. ill. p. 218 and 220. 




for Lord Melville to clear himself with the public, ** I 
tell you tliis/* he said, " mthout reserve, as an opinion 
that I have not as yet commmiieatod to any other 
person- I have not talked upon the subject with my 
own friends to bind, or even to sound them, but I can 
haye little donbt of their sentiments ; and I would warn 
you of the danger of committing yourself in a defence 
of Lord Melville, by which you will hurt yourself with 
the nation, and will make it necessary for me to resign 
my place in your Ministry/* 

" That would be destruction/' rejoined Mr. Pitt " If 
your friends in tlie House of Commons concur in the 
proposed Vote of Censure, it must and wiQ be carried." 

*' Then," said Lord Sidmouth, *' to avert the necessity 
on my part ftnd on theirs, the only com-se to be taken 
is to refer the inquiry to a Select Committee.'* ^ 

Nothing wa^ decided at this interview. But Lord 
Sidmouth called again on Pitt to press once more the 
point of a Committee. Lord Hawkesbury from the 
first, and subsequently Lord Castlereagh, also judged 
this to be the most advisable course. Pitt at last 
acquiesced in it, provided Lord Mehille's consent should 
be previously given. Lord Melville would of course 
have much preferred a direct negative to the Vote of 
Censure, but when he foxmd that there was no prospect 
of a majority to such a negative, he agreed, though with 
reluct«mcej to the other plan proposed. A Cabinet 
being held at four o'clock on Sunday, the 7th of April, 

7 Thla coTJTersatioTi is g:iven by I own mouth. (Diaries of Loid Gol- 
Vne Bp^ftker tiom Loid Sidmoutli's 1 ch^gtert vol. i p. 54(i*) 

280 LIFE OF PITT. Chap. XLL 

the Committee was finally adopted as the counter pro- 
posal of the Government, and on that basis Lord Sid- 
month answered for the continued adhesion of his 

Next day, the 8th, after an anxious whip^ and in a 
most crowded House, Mr. Whitbread brought forward 
his motion in a speech of three hours. When he sat 
down, and when the question was put on the first of his 
eleven Eesolutions, the Prime Minister rose. Seeking 
to keep together his majority, he did not argue to vin- 
dicate Lord Melville on each particiilar charge. He 
rather applied himself to show that in justice to the 
statesman accused, each charge required further evi- 
dence and explanations, such as a Select Committee 
would impart, before it was SRibmitted to the final 
decision of the House. He concluded by moving the 
previous question, and declared that should this be 
carried, he would then further propose the appoiat- 
ment of the Committee he had mentioned. 

Next to Pitt's came a speech from Lord Henry Petty ; 
a speech of signal ability, and fulfilling all that early 
promise which Pitt had been among the first to mark^ 
Now compliments to Lord Henry came in from all sides. 
Thus from Tierney, who spoke later : " It is a matter of 
pride to any man to be allowed to call himself the 
friend of such rising talents and eloquence." 

Let me here interrupt my narrative to notice that 
such signs of success in Lord Henry must have cheered 
the closing hours of his father, Pitt's first political chief. 
The Marquis of Lansdowne, better known to posterity as 
the Earl of Shelburne, died within a month of this time^ 





He expired on the 7th of May, 1805, at the age of 

I now revert to the debate in the House of Com- 
mons of the 7th of April. In its progress both 
Mr. Fox, and an able ally whom he had received from 
Ireland, Mr. George Ponsonby, exerted their powers of 
debate against Lord Melville. On the other hand, 
Mr. Spencer Perceval, Mr. CanniDg, and Lord Castle- 
reagh followed the line of Mr. Pitt, and did their best 
for their absent friend. Still, however, the independent 
Members looked grave, and shook their heads. They 
had been accustomed by Pitt liimself to the most scru- 
pulous precision and purity on aU points of public 
money ; they did not like Lord Melville's case so far 
as they could understand it ; and for their guidance 
they looked mainly to the decision of Mr. Wilberforce, 
whose conscientious and impartial turn of mind com- 
manded their just respect. 

It was, therefore s amidst no common thrill of expec- 
tation that late at night Mr. Wilberforce rose. He had 
waited until almost the last to hear and to weigh all the 
arguments adduced in support, of a Committee, He stit 
at the extremity of the Treasury Bench, and he related 
long afterwards, that when he rose and turned towards 
the Chair, he looked just across Mr. Pitt, and observed 
him listen with intense etimestness to catch the first 
intimation of the course which he would take. **It 
required no little effort^" added Wilberforce, " to resist 
the fuvscination of that penetrating eye — from which 
Lord Erskine was always thought to shrink,'* But he 
did not leave the House long in doubt. In his very 


first sentence he declared that he must vote for the 
original motion. He was strongly impressed, he said, 
Mith the culpable conduct of Lord Melville, and could 
not refuse to satisfy the moral sense of England. 

Such a speech from such a man was decisive of the 
question. It rallied to itself nearly all the independent 
members, as, for example. Sir Eobert PeeL At four in 
the morning the House in breathless silence proceeded 
to divide, when the numbers were found to be exactly 

For the Motion 216 

Against it 216 

Not for many years, I think, on a question of any 
thing like the same importance, had it been found 
requisite to appeal in this manner to the Speaker's 

Thus appealed to, the Speaker, in great anxiety of 
mind and after some minutes of doubt and deliberation, 
gave his vote in favour of Mr. Whitbread's motion. 
Thus the first of his Kesolutions was declared to be 

The Opposition, which all through this year had been 
used to small minorities, hailed their hard-won triumph 
with a burst of tumultuous joy. One red-coat squire, 
Sir Thomas Mostyn, raised what he called a mew-hoUo, 
and cried out, " We have killed the fox ! " ® So much 
for the judicial temper of some at least among the 
judges ! 

The remaining Resolutions of Mr. Whitbread were 

* Dianes of Lord Malmesbury, vol. iv. p. 338. 




next put and carried, Mr* Pitt strove to leave out the 
concluding words of the eleventh, stating that Lord 
Melville **has been guilty of a gross violation of the 
law and a high breach of duty " For these words 
Mr. Pitt wished to substitute " has acted contrary to the 
intentions of the said Act." Some debate ensued, and 
the gailory was cleared for a division ; but finding that 
he could not prevail, the Minister finally gave way 
without calling for the numbers. 

When the Resolutions had been carried, and wliile 
the strangers were still shut out, Mr, Whitbread rose 
again, and moved an Address to the King for removing 
Lord Melville from his Councils. At the time when the 
gallery was again opened Mr. Pitt was proposing to put 
off any further consideration of the charge till the day 
but one after — ^that is, the Wednesday following. **I 
will agree to the postponement," cried Fox, " provided 
the House be also adjourned to that day ; for I will 
not consent to the House doing any business whatever 
whilst the public affairs remaia ia the hands of a dis- 
graced Ministry/' Pitt answered wth perfect calmness : 
*' Certainly, in every view of the case it is better that 
the House should adjourn to Wednesday next." Then, 
at half-past five in the morning, the House rose. 

Some further details of this important night are 
supplied by the Note Bo4:>k of Lord Fitzhanis, after- 
wards second Earl of Malmusbury, and then one of the 
Treasury Board : 

" I aat wedged close to Pitt himself the night when 
we were 216 to 216 ; and the Speaker, Abbot (after 
looking as white as a sheet, and pausing for ten 


284 LIFE OF PITT. Chap.XLI. 

minutes), gave the casting vote against us. Pitt imme*- 
diately put on the little cocked hat that he was in the 
habit of wearing when dressed for the evening, and 
jammed it deeply over his forehead, and I distinctly 
saw the tears trickling down his cheeks. We had over- 
heard one or two, such as Colonel Wardle (of notorious 
memory), say /they would see * how Billy looked after 
it.' A few young ardent followers of Pitt, with myself, 
locked their arms together, and formed a circle, in 
which he moved, I believe unconsciously, out of the / 
House ; and neither the Colonel nor his Mends could / 
approach him." 

Before the close of the Tuesday Lord Melville took 
the only course which a man of honour could take when 
thus assailed — he resigned his oflSce as First Lord of 
the Admiralty. When, therefore, the Commons met 
again on Wednesday, Pitt had no sooner come in and 
taken his seat on the Treasury Bench than he rose 
again and announced the fact But Mr. Whitbread was 
not yet satisfied. He persevered in making his pro* 
mised speech; and he concluded with his promised 
motion— an Address to the King to remove Lord Mel- 
ville from all oflBces held under the Crown, and from 
His Majesty's coimcils and presence for ever. 

A long and interesting debate ensued. Some mem- 
bers of the Opposition threw out an idea that Lord 
Melville had resigned only to get rid of the motion then 
before them, and would be reinstated if once the motion 
were withdrawn. On that point Mr. Pitt, who spoke to 
that point only, was perfectly explicit : 

" I have no hesitation at all, accordingly, in saying 


tliat all idea of the Noble Lord's return to power is 
completely amiikikted, and that no danger whatever 
need be apprehended from that quarter. When I make 
this frank declaration, I only wish it to be understood 
that this is not to be taken as continuing in force 
in case the Resolutions of Monday should, on future 
inquiries, be found to have been prematui*e, and should 
accordingly Ijo erased from the jonmalB of the House. 
In any other case but this I think it is absolutely im- 
possible that any Minister should ever think of recom- 
mending the Noble Lord to a share in His Majesty's 
councils. After this declaration, I do think that the 
motion of the Hon, gentleman might be dispensed 
with, without at all losing eight of the object he pro- 
fesses to have in view." 

As the debate proceeded, it became quite clear, and so 
the Speaker notes, that the House was not prepared for 
so strong a vote until the rest of the inquiry had been 
gone tluough. Seeing this, Mr. Whitbread withdrew 
his motion. But it was agreed unanimously to lay the 
former Resolutions before His Majesty, and to carry 
them up by the whole House, Pitt gave notice that 
next day after that duly had been performed, he would 
move the adjournment of the House for the Easter 
Becess of one fortnight only. 

Next day, accordingly, the Speaker followed by many 
Members went up with the Besolutions to St. James's. 
None of the Ministers were present, nor yet the chiefs 
of the Opposition; neither Fox, nor Grey, nor Sheridan, 
nor WijQdham, nor Thomas Grenville. Whitbread sent 


286 LIFE OP PITT. Chap. XLi; 

an apology alleging indisposition. Then the House 
adjourned until the 25th. 

Thus fell from his high estate Henry Dundas, Lord 
Viscount Melville. He fell, but he carried with him as 
he well deserved the warm attachment of his friends. 
In his own native country above all, and for many years 
after he had ceased to be, his name was — ^may I not 
say is? — held in grateful honour. So late as 1826 we 
find no less a man than Sir Walter Scott compare him 
much to his advantage with some of his successors in 
office : ^' Ah I Hal Dundas, there was no truckling in 
^ thyday!"» 

The question was now by whom to supply his place 
at the Admiralty. Several names were su^ested to 
Pitt by Lord Sidmouth and others of his colleagueSi. 
The object of Lord Sidmouth was to appoint Lord 
Buckinghamshire, Lord Hawkesbury, or some person 
already in office, so as to make room for one of his 
friends or relatives. Bond, Bragge Bathurst, or Hiley. 
It was an object which, from the terms of his accession 
to the Government, he was perfectly well entitled to 
pursue, but which in the actual stress of that Govern- 
ment he might have done better to postpone. 

Pitt on his part was greatly pained to see interrupted 
the measures in full progress for the economical and 
vigorous administration of the navy in time of war. 
In planning these measures, now not far from their com- 
pletion, Lord Melville had much relied on a deserving, 

» Diary, March 1, 1826. Life, by Lockhart, vol. viii. p. 273. 





though not distinguished admiral, Sir Charles Middle- 
ton. As I have elsewhere mentioned, Sir Charles had 
been one of the very first to combine with Wilbciiforce 
for the abolition of the Slave Trade ^ — on that point, 
as on some others, a striking eontrfist to Lord St. 
Vincent^ than whom the Slave Trade to the close had 
no more eager or more thorough-going friend. Though 
now past fourscore, Sir Charles had still considerable 
energy both of body and mind. 

Since then, as Wdberforee puta it, perhaps a little too 
strongly, " Lord Melville's plans for the naval force of 
the kingdom were in feet Sir Charles's/' it seemed to 
Pitt, that as a tempomry, though not lasting appoint- 
ment, Sir Charles's might be upon the whole the best. 
Within a few months Sir Charles might complete the 
administrntive measures which he had aided in planning, 
and by that time the storm against the Government 
raised by the Tenth Report would no doubt have passed 

It was natural, considering the high esteem of Lord 
Melville for Sir Charles Middleton, to suppose that Lord 
Melville had advised his appointment. Sir Charles 
himself was under the belief that he had done so. But 
we have the direct assertion of Mr. Pitt to the contrary. 
Mr. Pitt stated that the idea was entirely his own, and 
altogether independent of or anterior to any opinion 
that Lord Melville had expressed,' 

The following correspondence ensued. 

1 See ToL i. p. 367, 

2 Compare on this point WUlxir- 

Ibrte's Life, vol. iii. p. 223, vfith 
Lord Sidmoutb's, voL u, p. 3<34« 

288 LIFE OF PITT. Chap. XLI. 

Mr. Pitt to Lord Sidmouth. 

" Downing Street, Sunday night, 
"Dear Lord Sidmouth, April 21, 1805. 

"It is become impossible to delay longer the 
decision respecting the Admiralty ; and after weighing 
all the alternatives, I end at last in thinking that the ap- 
pointment of Sir Charles Middleton (though not without 
some objections) is, on the whole, the best for the essential 
and pressing points of the naval service at this moment, 
and liable to less inconvenience than any other that has 
presented itself. I am therefore writing to-night to the 
King, to submit to him this opinion as the best I can 
form. I wish there was more chance than I am afraid 
there is of your thinking that I have decided right 

"A Cabinet is summoned for twelve to-morrow, in 
consequence of the further communications which we 
received yesterday from Woronzow, of the same date 
with those of Lord G. Leveson, but more particular 
and much more promising. Is there any chance of your 
coming to it before you set out to Windsor ? 
" Yours affectionately, 


Lord Sidmouth to Mr. Pitt. 

" Eichmond Park, April 22, 
"My dear Sir, ^ past 12. 

" I deplore the choice which you have mada It 
will, I fear, have the effect of weakening and lowering 
the Government, at a time when it is peculiarly import- 
ant to give it additional strength, and to raise its 
character. To me it is a decisive proof that my con- 
tinuahce in office could neither be useful to the public, 
nor honourable to myself : an opinion to which I have 

1805. LIFE OF PITT. 289 

long been compelled to incline, and which is confirmed 
by this arrangement and the circumstances with which 
it is attended. My own earnest wish is to withdraw 
from public life. 

" Yours affectionately, 

" SiDMOUTH." y 

On the same day we find Lord Sidmouth write to his 
brother Hiley that the selection of Sir Charles was most 
objectionable, as he said it was " to forego the means of 
making an arrangement conformable to the pledge 
given to me in December last." On this ground and on 
some others, Lord Sidmouth thought himself fully 
justified in having resigned, and in that resignation 
he was next day joined by tis follower the Earl of 
Buckinghamshire. / 

Mr. Pitt and Lord Sidmouth were now meeting at 
Windsor Castle, where there was an Installation of 
Knights of the Garter, the first since July, 1771, and 
conducted on a scale of great magnificence. The two 
statesmen had .then the opportunity of some private 
talk, and the Prime Minister earnestly pressed his col- 
league to reconsider his determination. Meanwhile it 
was hoped by the friends of both parties that the affair 
would be kept private. But it was not. It was 
publicly canvassed at the annual Academy Dinner upon 
the 27th. " I was well electrified," so next day wrote 
Auckland to Abbot, " when I found that a secret on 
which you and I had not ventured to speak, even to 
each other, was well known in an assembly of two 
hundred politicians and painters." 

VOL. IV. o 



Chap. XLI, 

Next day, however, the two statesmen met at Eieh- 
mond Park, and had a fiill discussion. Lord Sidmouth 
on his part and on Lord Buckinghamshire's was pre- 
vailed upon to remain in oflSce. " I have consented to 
make the experiment," he said. This he did on three 
conditions. He was to be at liberty to tell his friends : 
first, that Sir Charles's appointment was only temporary ; 
secondly, that Mr. Pitt was determined to give to the 
public the full benefit of the Eeports of Naval Inquiry ; 
and thirdly, that Lord Sidmouth's friends should be 
free to vote as they pleased, and that every considera- 
tion should be shown to their "just a\id admitted pre- 
tensions." ^ 

The King at this time declared in writing, that had 
any disunion arisen in the Cabinet, he should have 
decidedly taken part with Mr. Pitt, as he " has every 
reason to be satisfied with his conduct from the hour of 
his returning to his service."* 

Meanwhile the appointment of Sir Charles had been 
sanctioned by the King, and formally made. He was 
raised to the Peerage as Lord Barham, with remainder 
to his daughter and only child, who had married Sir 
Gerard NoeL 

Meanwhile also the House of Commons had met again, 
and had immediately resumed the business of Lord Mel- 
ville. On the very first m'ght Mr. Whitbread rose to 
inquire whether the Eight Hon. gentleman opposite 
intended to recommend to His Majesty to expunge the 

' Life, by Dean Pellcw, vol. ii. 
p. 364 ; and Diaries of Lord Col- 
vhcster, vol. i. p. 554. 

* Letter dated April 30, 1805. 
See Appendix. 



name of Lord M oKnlle from the list of the Privy Council* 
ntt answered that he had no such intention. It seemed, 
he said, to be the sense of the House; "when the aftair was 
last discusst^, that a removal from any place of tnist 
xind confidence would be sufficient till fmiher light was 
thro\Mi npon the sxdyect by the investigations of a Select 

Whitbread rose at once to announce that he wonld 
Time the IVivy Conncil qnestion on a futiu-o day ; and 
he then proceeded to move that the Tenth lieport should 
Ije referred to a Select Committee. Pitt said that he 
entij'ely approved of the reference, bnt desired tliat it 
i^hould be confined to cei-tain points in the Tenth Report; 
for since, as he understood, the Hon. gentleman designed 
to move for a pruseention by the Attorney-General on 
certain other ]Kiints in that Report, the two modes of 
procedure ought eertiiinly not to be concurrent in theh- 

A long debate ensued upon this subject, bnt, on di- 
"i-iding, Pitt prevailed by 229 votes against 151. Hc^ 
prevailed also the same evening, by 251 against 120, 
tliat the Committee shoidd be chosen by Imllot, and not 
proposed by name. On the 30th of April the members 
so chosen were accordingly appointed, though not without 
finother sharp debate ; and the Committee was then at 
liberty to proceed upon its labours. 

The case of Lord Melville » like almost every other im- 
portant question when freely discussed, came, as it pro- 
ceeded, to be mixed up and entangled with many subordi- 
nate detaUs. There was presented an Eleventh Report 
from the Commissionerfc! of Naval Inqiuiy. There waji a 

o % 

292 LIFE OF PITT. ' Chap. XU. 

charge, first urged by Mr. Grey, of a Kbel on the House 
by the Oracle newspaper, which had warmly espoused 
Lord Melville's cause ; and the editor, Mr. Peter Stuart, 
was committed to the custody of the Serjeant-at-Arms. 
There was also made public a case of the year 1797, 
when Mr. Pitt^ without, as was alleged, due sanction of 
law, though with Mr. Dundas's consent, had borrowed 
upon security 40,000Z. surplus of Naval money, to en- 
able Messrs. Boyd and Benfield, as contractors, to make 
good an instalment due upon their loan. On this affair 
Mr. Pitt himself gave evidence before the Select Com- 
mittee ; and it afterwards formed, as will be seen, the 
subject of a separate motion in the House of Commons. 

The motion of Mr. Whitbread on the Privy Council 
stood fixed for the 6th of May. Some persons perhaps 
may think as did the King : — " It is unbecoming the 
character of Englishmen, who natm-ally, when a man is 
falleu, are too noble to pursue their blows." But at the 
time there were many Members inclining to carry to the 
utmost their war against Lord MelviUe. From several 
quarters did Pitt receive intimations that in all proba- 
bility he would be again defeated. Still he was deter- 
mined at all hazards to sustain his early friend. At this 
juncture, however, he received a letter as follows : — 

Lord 3Ielville to Mr. Pitt. 

" My dear Sir, *' Wimbledon, May 5, 1805. 

" From the accounts in the newspapers of what 
passed in the House of Commons on the 8th and lOtili 
April, and from your own opinion at that time, I had 
been led to suppose that the views of my opponents were 



satisfied, and that it was not likely tlint I slioiild be ex- 
poBCid to any more hostile procee^liiii^s in Parliament. 
From your conimnni cation to me of yesterday, contimicd 
by conversations I liaye had with othei's this day, I am 
satisfied that yonr expectations have been too sanu^iine, 
iind that the niotiou of to-morrow will be sopported by 
several leading persons in the Honse whom you had con- 
sidered as likely to act a diflerent part. These circnm- 
stanees have indnceil me maturely to examine this sub- 
ject in all its bearings ; and on the most impartial review 
I can take of it» my decided opinion is, if you are satisfied 
that it is really the sentiment of a nimiorons body < if tlie 
Hcjuse of Commons that, after what they have voted, it 
is improper tJnit my name should remain on the list of 
Privy Councillors, I conceive it to be your duty to give 
that advice to His Majesty which tends most to strengthen 
this Government, and secure to it the confidence of the 
House of Commons. I will not disguise from yon that 
tljis opinion is not altogether free from considerations of 
a personal mitnre. I trust I have fortitude sufficient to 
enable me to l^ear up against any wrong, but you are 
enough acquainted with the interior of my family to 
know how galling it must be to every domestic feeling 
I have to witness the um*emitting distress and agitation 
J which those debates, so full of personal asperity, must 
natm^aDy produce on those most nem-ly connected with 
nie. ** I am, &e., 

" Melville " 

This letter shows how generous was in truth Lord 
Melville's mind — how constantly his character inclined 
liim to thiidi of others rather than himself. In conse- 
quence of his counsels, Pitt gave way to the storm. 
AVhtm therefore, on the morrow, Whitbread rose to 

294 LIFE OF PITT. Chap. XLL 

bring on his motion, Ktt rose to interrupt him, de- 
claring that he had a communication to make. Whit- 
bread stood on his right, and insisted on finishing his 
speecL Then Pitt rose again. " I wished to state," he 
said, " that the object which the Hon. gentleman has in 
view is already accomplished. I have felt it my duty to- 
advise the erasure of Lord Melville's name from the list 
of Privy CoimciUors. His Majesty has acceded to this^ 
advice, and on the first day that a Council is held, that 

erasure will take place I believe. Sir, it is in the 

recollection of the House that a motion similar to that 
now brought forward was produced by the Hon. gentle- 
man on the day to which he has alluded. At that time 
it did not appear to me to be the sense of the House 
that such a motion should be persisted in, or that it was 
at all necessary after the Eesolutions of Censure on a 
former evening. Many gentlemen who concurred in 
these Eesolutions thought that the wound which had 
been inflicted should not be aggravated by any unneces- 
sary circumstances of severity; that when the justice 
of the public was satisfied, the feelings of the individual 
ought not to be outraged. Even several gentlemen on 
the other side of the House did not seem to wish that 
the motion should be pushed to a division. The motion 
was accordingly withdrawn. . . . Since that time, how- 
ever, in consequence of the notice of the Hon. Member 
to renew his motion, I have felt it my duty to ascertain 
what is the prevailing feeling of gentlemen upon the 
subject ; I have had occasion to ascertain the senti- 
ments of respectable gentlemen on both sides of the- 
House, and I have seen reason to believe that the step 

1805. LIFE OF PITT. 295 

to which the motion of the Hon. Member is directed 
was considered by them expedient. I confess, Sir, and 
I am not ashamed to confess it, that whatever may be 
my deference to the House of Commons, and however 
anxious I may be to accede to their wishes, I certainly 
felt a deep and bitter pang in being compelled to be the 
instrument of rendering still more severe the punish- 
ment of the Noble Lord." 

It was mentioned to me by Lord Macaulay in the 
course of conversation that he had heard accounts of 
this scene from several persons who were present. 
From these he has vividly described it in his short 
biography : " As Ktt uttered the word * pang,' his lip 
quivered ; his voice shook ; he paused ; and his hearers 
thought that he was about to burst into tears. He 
suppressed his emotion, however, and proceeded with 
his usual majestic self-possession." 

Fox, who was himself remarkable for warmth of 
feeling towards his friends, might well, I think, have 
been touched with the tokens of the same in Pitt. He 
might well have forborne from pressing further, at least 
upon that day, a point which was in truth already 
gained. But, rising next, he began with a cold sneer, 
and proceeded with a bitter invective. "Since the 
Eight Hon. gentleman tells us that at last he has 
condescended to remove Lord Melville from his Privy 
Council, I would wish to know whether that has been 
done in consequence of the Kesolutions of the House of 
Commons?" Such was his first sentence, and here is 
his last : " I can assure the House that there is every 
symptom of the country being seriously agitated, and 

296 LIFE OF PITT. Chap.XLI. 

that it will not readily place much confidence in those 
who have exerted themselves so much to screen a 
delinquent, though they have at last been obliged to 
give him up." 

The taunts of Mr. Fox that night were no doubt 
very gaUing to Lord Melville's friends. They drew up 
Lord Melville's nephew, the Secretary at War, who, 
with great imprudence, ventured upon some taunts in 
return. He observed that the late Lord Holland, as 
Paymaster of the Forces, had not scrupled to make 
large sums by the use of the balances remaining in his 
hands. He observed that Mr. Fox had, through his 
father, participated in these profits, and had spent them 
for the most part in his youthful gambling. Such Tu 
quoque arguments, as they are called at Eton, appear 
by no means worthy of Lord Melville's character and 
name. Fox, with unruffled temper and most admirable 
readiness, turned them back full upon Lord Melville's 
friends. There was an Act of Parliament passed in 
1785, prohibiting any further profits from the use of 
the balances in the hands of the Treasurer of the Navy, 
and there was a Warrant from the King, augmenting, 
for that very reason of the abolition of perquisites, the 
Treasurer's salary. " If then," said Fox, " as the Eight 
Hon. gentleman alleges, it was criminal in a public 
officer to make use of the public money for his own 
private profit where there was no Act of Parliament 
against it, a fortiori it must have been still more 

criminal after the Act had passed I have, to be 

sure, gambled a good deal. My father, no doubt, left 
me a large fortune. But how the Eight Hon. gentle- 




man can infer thot my manuer of spending that fortune 
affords any proof of my connivance in what ho consi- 
'ders my fathers imprnper method of obtaining it, I 
must leave it to the House to conjecture." 

The object of removing Lord Melville from the 
Privy Council being thus attained, his opponents could 
take no further step until the Select Committee had 
Ireported. There ensued as of necessity some pause in 
these proceedings. But meanwhile another question, 
v{ still higher import* was debated. 

The Koman Catholics of Ireland had felt and seen in 
1801 that the obstacle in the way of their claims was 
for the time insuperable. During some years, there- 
fore, they were for the most part inclined to wait. But 
by degrees their impatience grew, and it was further 
stimulated by some of the Opposition chiefs in England. 
So early as November, 1803, we find Fox and Fitz- 
williani eagerly press to bring on this great cause in 
the Session then before them, " But Sheridan," so 
writes Fox, " is furious against stirring a question 
which will embarrass himself,*' ^ 

It %vas not till the administration of Pitt and the 
Session of 1805 that the effort was in earnest made. 
The Roman CathoUe chiefs had held several meetings 
at Dublin, under the presidency of Lord Fingal, They 
had agreed to send over a Deputation of five to London, 
and to present a petition to both Houses, 

On the 12th of March the Deputation thus de- 
spatched had an interview with Mr. Pitt, and asked 

* Oorrespondence, edited by Lord John RuBseH, vol iii. p. 434. 

298 LIFE OF PITT. Chap. XLI 

him to present their petition. He answered them as- 
they expected, — ^that far from his urging their request 
under present circumstances, he should feel it his duty 
to resist it. Next they applied to Mr. Fox, who accord- 
ingly presented their petition to the House of Commons- 
on the 25th, as on the same day Lord Grenville did 
also to the House of Peers. 

On the 10th of May, in due course, according to the 
notice given. Lord GrenviUe in the Peers, as on the 
13th Mr. Fox in the Commons, moved to consider 
the petition so presented. Li the Peers there was a 
long and weighty debate of two nights, the last extend- 
ing tiU near six in the morning. Lord Hawkesbury and 
Lord Sidmouth especially spoke of the question as one 
that at no time and under no circumstances ought to- 
be conceded. The division gave, including proxies, 
only 49 Peers in favour of the motion, and 178 against 

Li the Commons likewise the debate was continued 
for two nights. Mr. Fox, who began it, spoke three 
hoiu^ and a half. He was answered by Dr. DuigenaUy 
a gentleman of laborious learning, who spoke two hours. 
Then rose a new Member, whom the House was im- 
patient to hear. This was no other than Henry Grattan^ 
who had, at the request of his friends, surmounted his 
strong repugnance to sit in the Imperial Parliament ; 
and who, not readily finding a seat from L-eland, had 
been, through the influence of Lord Fitzwilliam, placed 
in the seat of Burke as one of the Members for Malton. 

Mr. Grattan's speech was of above an hour and a half. 
It was listened to throughout ^vith the utmost attention. 




The Speaker notes of it that the language was quaint 
and epigrammatic, with occasional flashes of striking 
metaphor. On the other hand, the manner, he says, was 
extremely conceited and affected, and the action too 
violent ; Grattan " throwing his body, head, and arms 
into aU sorts of absurd attitudes." ® The same strange 
action, it may be observed, attended him in all his 
harangues. Mr. Curran, in his later years, used to take 
him off in a manner irresistibly ludicrous ; bowing his 
head till it well-nigh touched the ground, and "thank- 
ing God that he had no peculiarities of gesture or 

It is pleasing to find true genius rise superior to such 
petty impediments. Lord Byron, who at this period 
used often to come from Harrow and attend the debates, 
says, that as he was informed (for on that night he was 
not present), " it was for some minutes doubtful in the 
House of Commons whether to laugh at Grattan or to 
cheer. The d&yut of his predecessor Flood had been a 
complete failure under nearly similar circumstances. 
But when the Ministerial part of our Senators had 
watched Pitt, their thermometer, for their cue, and saw 
him nod repeatedly his stately nod of approbation, they 
took the hint from their huntsman, and broke out into 
the most rapturous cheers " "^ 

It is said that the passage which first drew forth the 
approving nod or "Hear! hear!" of Pitt, is where 

^ Diaries of Lord Colchester, 
vol. ii. p. 3. 
^ Life of Byron, by Thomas 

Moore, vol. ii. p. 211, ed. 1832. 
See also vol. iiL p. 234. 

300 LIFE OF PITT. Chap. XLI. 

Grattan dealt with the historical lore and acrimonious 
recapitulations of Dr. Duigenan. " I rise," he said, " to 
rescue the Catholics from his attack, and the Protestants 
from his defence." ^ 

Pitt reserved his own speech for the second night. 
In the course of it he adverted to Grattan's as fraught 
" with such a splendour of eloquence." For himself he 
took precisely that course on which, four years back, he 
had determined. 

" Sir," he said, " I felt that in no possible case, pre- 
vious to the Union, could the privileges now demanded 
be given, consistently with a due regard to the Protestant 
interest in Ireland, to the internal tranquillity of that 
kingdom, the frame and structure of our constitution, 
or the probability of the permanent connexion of Ireland 
with this country. It is true. Sir, that after the Union 
I saw the subject in a different light ; and whilst that 
event was in contemplation I did state, as the Hon. 
Gentleman says, that the measure would make a 
material difference in my opinion; but he has also 
stated what is very true, that I did not make a distinct 
pledge. On the contrary, I believe the line of argu- 
ment I took was, that if it should be thought right to 
give what the Catholics required, it might be given after 
the Union with more safety to the Empire ; or if it were 
thought proper to refuse giviog it, that it might then be 
refused without producing those disastrous consequences 
which might have been apprehended before the Union. 
I come then, Sir, to the present discussion perfectly free 

^ Life of Grattan, by his Son, vol. v. p. 262. 

1805. LIFE OP PITT. 301 

and unfettered. I certainly was of opinion that under 
a united Parliament those privileges might be granted 
under proper guards and conditions, so as not to produce 
any danger to the Established Church or the Protestant 
Constitution — and I remain this day of that opinion ; 
and I still think, if from other circumstances there was 
no objection to complying with the demands of the 
Catholics, and if by a wish they could be carried into 
effect, I own. Sir, I see none of those dangers which 
have been urged by some gentlemen, nor do I think 
that the introduction of a certain proportion of Catholics 
into the Imperial Parliament would be likely to be pro- 
ductive of any influence or effect detrimental or in- 
jurious to the welfare of the State, or the safety and 
security of the Constitution. But, Sir, in delivering this 
frank opinion, I do not mean wilfully to shut my eyes 
to this conviction, that a Catholic, however honourable 
his intentions may be, must feel anxious to advance the 
interests of liis religion — it is in the very nature of man ; 
he may disclaim and renounce this wish for a time, but 
there is no man who is at all acquainted with the opera- 
tions of the human heart who does not know that the 
Catholic must feel that anxiety whenever the power and 
the opportunity may be favourable to him. But if these 
guards and conditions to which I have alluded had been 
applied, and which, could my wishes have been accom- 
plished, it would have been my endeavour to have 
applied, I firmly believe no danger would have existed, 
and no injury could have been apprehended. 

" This, Sir, was the view in which I considered this 

302 LIFE OF PITT. Chap. XLL 

most important subject — these were the objects which I 
wished to attain; but circxmistances, unfortunate cir- 
cumstances in my opinion, rendered it at that period 
impossible to bring forward the measure in the way in 
which I then hoped it might be practicable to bring it 
forward — ^in the only way in which I think it ought at 
any time to be brought forward; in the only way in 
which it could be brought forward with advantage to the 
claims of those whose petition is now under considera- 
tion, or with any hope of reconciling all differences, of 
burying all animosities, and of producing that perfect 
union, in the advantages of which gentlemen on all 
sides so entirely concur. What the circumstances were 
to which I allude as having at that time prevented me 
from calling the attention of Parliament to this subject, 
in the manner and with the prospects which I wished, it 
is not now necessary for me to state. All the explana- 
tion which I thought it my duty to give, I gave at that 
time — more I do not feel myself now called upon to 
give ; and nothing shall induce me to enter ruto further 
details upon this subject. I shall therefore now content 
myself with stating that the circumstances which made 
me feel that it was then improper to bring forward 
this question, and which led to the resignation of the 
then administration, have made so deep, so lasting an 
impression upon my miud, that so long as those circum- 
stances continue to operate, I shall feel it a duty im- 
posed upon me, not only not to bring forward, but not 
in any manner to be a party in bringing forward or in 
agitating tliis question. 

1805. LIFE OF PITT. 303 

" I must say that at the present moment I see little 
cliance, — ^I may rather say, I see no chance of its being 
carried at all. If then, Sir, the question is not now to 
be carried, I think that to agitate it under such circum- 
stances will only tend to revive those dissensions which 
we wish to extinguish, and to awaken all that warmth 
and acrimony of discussion which has heretofore pre- 

Dividing at past four in the morning, the numbera 
were, — 

For Mr. Fox's motion . . . 124 
Against it 336 

Majority . 212 

Through the whole course of this winter and spring,, 
while thus busily engaged in Parliamentary debates, 
Pitt was no less intent on diplomatic negotiations. It 
was his object that England should cease to stand alone, 
as she had during the last few years ; that she should, 
on the contrary, ally herself with other great Powera 
against the overweening dominion of France. The dif- 
ferences which in the course of the past year had 
sprung up between the Courts of Paris and of Peters- 
burg were highly auspicious to his views. The Emperor 
Alexander began to appreciate and to seek the concert 
of England. M. de NovosUtzoff, one of the statesmen 
foremost in His Majesty's confidence, was sent to 
London, and had several interviews with Mr. Pitt. 

As may well be supposed, M. NovosUtzoff did not 
fail to transmit to his Court full reports of all that 
Mr. Pitt said. A copy of these reports has since found 

304 LIFE OF PITT. Chap. XLI. 

its way to France, and has been seen by M. Thiers. 
We learn from it that the English Minister condemned 
in strong terms any idea of imposing a new Government 
on France. We must wait (he said) and let that 
comitry decide for itsell*. We must above all be careful 
in any proclamations we may issue, to pledge ourselves 
in the strongest terms to protect the oflScers of the 
army in the continuance of their rank, and the acqu^ 
reurs de biens natwvumx in the preservation of their 
property. So important, indeed, did this last point 
seem to Mr. Pitt, that he declared himself ready to 
make from the English revenue a provmon (such was 
his very word) to indemnify the Emigrants who had 
remained around the Bourbon Princes, and thus to 
deprive them of all inducement to disturb the new 
proprietors of the liens nati(maux, " And thus," adds 
M. Thiers, " the famous measure of Indemnity to the 
Emigrants was revolved in the mind of Mr. Pitt twenty 
years before the time when it was voted in the French 
Chambers." ^ 

The schemes which M. Novosiltzoff brought with hinn 
to London appear to have been of the crudest kind. He 
desired to propose what he called " an aUiance of medi- 
ation," of which Bussia was to be the chief. But his 
views were greatly modified by his intercourse with 

'-^ Hist, du Consulat et de I'Ein- I Russian ambassador in London, has 
pire, vol. v. p. 342. I regret that | found a place in Schoell's Collec- 
these Russian reports have not ! tion, and is appended by Sir A. 
been published in extenso. A Me- Alison to the 39th Chapter of his 
morandum, dated Jan. 19, 1805, ' History of Europe, 
and presented by ]\Ir. Pitt to the | 




Mr. Pitt, and on hk return to Petersburg he induced 
his colleagues awl liis Sovereign to modify theirs also. 
' Oa the basis of Pitt's opinions and suggestions a treaty 
between BuBsia and England was now concluded. It 
was signed at Petersburg on the 11th of April by Lord 
Granville Leyeson on the part- of Eogland, liy Prince 
Adam CzurffpritHlvy and M, Xovosiltzoff on the part of 

In this document the two contracting Powers first 
lamented the state of eiifiering in which Europe was 
plar^ed by the ambition of the (xovernment of Prance, 
and declare*! themselves anxious to put a stop thereto 
without waiting for further encroachments. They would 
I endeavour to form a general league of the Powers of 
rEiu-ope, and to collect npon tlie Continent a force of five 
hundred thousand efiective men. The objects of tliis 
league were to be : The evacuation of the Hanoverian 
territory and of all Northern Gennany ; the indepiendenco 
of Holhind and of Switzerland ; the re-estabHshment of 
the King of Sardiim in Piedmont, with an increase of 
territory ; the future security of the kingdom of Naples, 
and the comphite evacuation of Italy, the isle of Elba 
included, by the French forces ; and lastly* tlie estab- 
lishment of an order of things in Europe which might 
present a sohd barrier against future nsmpations. For 
these objects England agreed to contribute, not only 
troops and ships, but subsidies also. And if tlie league 
were formed, no member of it was to conclude a peace 
with France but by consent of the rest. 

Tliis treaty, it may be noticed, was much more pro- 
i^pective tlian positive, depending as it did on other 

306 LIFE OF PITT. Chap.XLI. 

alliances that were yet to form. It did not prevent the 
Bussian Goyemment &om still seeking an amicable 
accommodation with the French, and for that object 
sending M. de Novosiltzoff forward to Berlin. Nor did 
it withhold the Court of Petersburg from still expressing 
its jealousy of England upon several points. There was, 
above all, the point of Malta, upon which Ktt felt it 
desirable to vindicate, not merely through Lord Mul- 
grave, but from himself, the course which England had 
pursued and was pursuing. 

Mr. Pitt to M. NovmUzoff. 
" Downing Street, June 7, 1805. 

"I certainly have always felt that, as long as the 
execution of the Treaty of Amiens was in question, this 
country had no right to look to any object [touching 
Malta] but that of endeavouring to secure for it, if pos- 
sible, a real and secure independence according to the 
spirit of that treaty. But a fresh war, produced by the 
conduct of France, having once cancelled that treaty, I 
cannot consider this country as bound by any intentions 
it has professed with a view to the execution of the 
treaty ; and on general grounds of moderation and jus- 
tice, I cannot think this country called upon to offer 
such an addition to all the other sacrifices of acquisi- 
tions made during the war, especially in return for 
concessions on the part of France which can afford no 
adequate security for Europe. 

" The possession of Malta appears to be of the most 
essential importance to great and valuable interests of 
oiu- own, and to our means of connexion and co-opera- 
tion with other Powers. Some naval station in the 




iMeilitorraneaii is absolutely indispeDsaljle ; but none can 

\h-* found so desixablu and secure ati Malta. Notwitb- 

jetanding tbia sentiment, bowever, if the arrangement 

||>roposed respecting Malta coidd secure by negotiation 

jan arrangement really satisfactory on tbe Continent, 

I and pai'tieularly adequate barriers botb for Italy and for 

[Holland, and if we could obtain the only mibstitute for 

Malta which we tliiuk coidd at all answer the purpose 

I (mnnely, Minorca), we are ready to overcome our diffi- 

Iculties on this point; but on any other ground the 

I sacrifice is one to which we cannot feel ourselves justi- 

Ified to consent. It has, therefore, been hn possible to 

ratify that part of the 10th ailicle which relates to this 

subject, and which was referred hither for decision. We 

liave also found ourselyes under the painful necessity of 

pi-otesting against any step which can lead to making 

our established principles of maritune law the subject of 

any I'e^'ision or discussion. We have endeavoured to 

(explain frankly and without resen^e the motives which 

guide lis on both points. They are, to our own minds, 

conviueing and conclusive." 

The Treaty of the 11th of April was by no meiins 
as yet divulged. It was not to be carried into effect 
unless tlie accession of Austria, and, if possible, of 
Pruss^aj were first obtained. Under these circumstances, 
Pitt felt that he could not make any positive communi- 
cation to the House of Commons. But hi his Budget 
he liad already, as we have seen, left himself a margin 

' of five millions ibr the sake of foreign subsidies ; and 
he desired tliat the Hes,sion should not close without a 
vote for the immediate application, if required, of a 
large part of this large smu. With this view a Eoyal 

[Message was sent down to both Houses on the 19th of 

308 LIFE OP PITT. Chap. XLI. 

June ; and on that Message the Minister founded ^his 
proposal that a sum of three millions and a half should 
be placed at His Majesty's disposal for such objects. 

The Koyal ]\Jessage was encountered by Grey with a 
proposed Address, that His Majesty would be pleased 
not to prorogue his Parliament until he should be 
enabled to afford it more full information with respect 
to foreign affairs. Fox spoke on the same side with his 
usual ready skill. "Since," he said, "the answer 
cannot be made at the present period of the Session, 
let the Session be made to continue till the answer 
comes. Since the answer cannot be made to accommo- 
date the Session, let the Session be made to accommo- 
date the answer. .... When a Minister says that it is 
his duty to give no information, I must reply that it is 
my duty to give no money." Nevertheless the motion of 
Grey was negatived by 261 votes against 110, and the 
proposal of Pitt was, without a division, adopted. 

The Committee on the Tenth Keport had been most 
desirous to examine Lord MelviUe, and Lord Melville 
himself was most desirous to be examined. But the 
Peers took fire on a point of privilege. They consulted 
precedents, and came to a Vote that Lord Melville 
should only answer to the Committee upon points 
respecting which the House of Commons had not passed 
any criminatory Kesolutions against him.^ Under this 
limitation his testimony could not in fact be tendered 
or received. The Committee had to frame their Keport 

^ See the precedents from 1553 to 1804, adduced in the Lords' 
Journals of May 11, 1805. 

o means 
ciaLly on two sums, amounting t^)gether to upwards of 
20,000/., wliich it was aeknowledged that Lord Melville 
had received as Treasurer of the Navy, and had applied 
to other tlian naval pnrposes. 

Under sneh circumstances, and a new motion by' 
A\Tiitbread impending, Lord Melville addressed a letter 
to the Speaker, asking permission to appear before the 
Honae and to speak in his own vindication. The per- 
mission was granted, and he was adniitted on the 1 1th 
of Jime. A chair for his reception had been placed 
within the Bar, He sat down and covered himself. In 
a few minutes he took ofi' his hat, rose, and proceeded 
to addrtsss the House. It was a sight that must have 
affected even those who had voted against him. To see 
him who had been for so many years next to Mr. Pitt 
the most powerful man in that assembly, now a culprit 
at its Bar — to hear the voice which had swayed the 
Hotise on great public questions^ now exerted to repel 
personal and degrading charges— was surely no light, 
no common reverse in the wheel of Fortune, As was 
said by Lord Melville himself in the course of his 
address : " This is not such a conclusion as I had hoped 
for, and as I think I had a right to expect, to a long 
and laborious life devoted to my country's service." 

Lord Melville spoke for two hours and twenty 
minutes. He then bowed and withdrew. Li his state- 
ment he entered very fully into the charges made 
against him. He affirmed in the most solemn manner as 
, he had alretidy that the sum in question of 20,000^. was 

310 LIFE OF PITT. Chap. XLI. 

neither used nor meant to be used for any purpose of 
his ovm emolument. It was expended solely on public 
objects, by himself as a confidential servant of the 
Crovm; but how, he coidd not disclose "without a 
great breach as well of public duty as of private honour.'* 
*^ I trust," said Lord Melville in conclusion, " that no- 
thing in the course of this day has fellen from me in any 
degree disrespectful to the assembly which with their 
indulgence I have been permitted to address; but I 
equally trust I cannot be liable to censure if I have not 
in any part of what I have said shown a disposition to 
deprecate, by humiliating submission, any of the future 
evils which may be in contemplation against me." 

The reader of that speech at this distance of time may 
pediaps concur with me in thinking that it is marked 
by a becoming dignity and consciousness of innocence. 
But the impression on his hearers was far jtom favour- 
able. It was thought too haughty and defiant It 
was thought to give spirit to his enemies. It was 
thought to iujure rather than improve his cause. So 
Speaker Abbot notes. Out of doors the violence had 
already risen higher still, and the old cry against " Place- 
men and Scotsmen " had been in ftdl force revived."^ 

When Lord Melville had withdrawn, Mr. Whitbread 
rose, and in a speech of two hours and a half moved his 
Impeachment. Mr. Bond on the other hand proposed 
his prosecution by the Attorney-General. That debate 
was adjourned. In the next, at half-past four in the 

- See on this point a remarkable I James Mackintosh (Memoii-s, vol. i. 
Jctter from Francis Homer to Sir | p. 316). 




morning the House divided. For the impeaclunent 
thei'e were 195, agaiiist it 272. But the prosecution 
iras after a keen ooiitest carried by the narrow majority 
of nine, the nunibei-s being 238 and 229. 

It had been hoped by Lord Melville's friends that 
both these motions might be equally rejected. But if 
one \ms to be c^irried, they preferred the form of Ini- 
peaehment to the form of prosecution. On the 25th, 
Mr. Leycester, who had been Chaimian of the Select 
Committeev moved to rescind the former vote, and to 
proceed agaiui^t Lord Melville by Impeaehment- The 
Government supported his motion, and it was carried 
by 166 against 143. 

That vote was derisive of the form. Next day, the 
20th, Whitbread carried up the Impeaehiuent to tlae 
Bar of the House, and named a Committee to diuw 
up the articles. But the Sesnion being now so near its 
close, the further progress was deferred until the ensuing 

In the midst of these debates upon Lord Melville, in 
which Pitt bore a principal share, there was another 
motion of ^\Tiitbread levelled at himself for his advance 
of 40,000?, in 1796 to Messrs. Boyd and Benfield. rilt, 
however, clearly showed the necessity of that advance 
to the public service. The Hon. Henry Lascelles, at 
that time one of the two members for Yorkshire and 
sjubeequently the second Earl of Harewood, moved an 
amendment^ affirming that this advance, 'Hhough not 
strictly conformable to law, was highly expedient in the 
eicisting cu'cumstances, and attended Avith the most 
beneficial efl'ects." This amendment seemed to meet 

312 LIFE OP PITT. Chap. XLL 

exactly both the jEEU3ts of the case and the feelings of the 
House. It was carried without a division, and a Bill of 
Indemnity to Mr. Pitt, which was founded upon it, sub- 
sequently passed mm. con. 

In his resistance to the attacks which were made 
upon Lord Melville, Pitt appears to have had the fiill 
sympathy of their former colleague at Dropmore. We 
find Lord Grenville write to his brother Buckingham in 
the following terms : " You are not ignorant how much 
I dislike the greatest part of what is now going on, and 
certainly no part of it more than the attempt to decry 
all the Boards of Admiralty with which I have been 
acting all through my life, for the purpose of raising up 
a false reputation to Lord St. Vincent, who may be, 
and I believe is, a very good admiral ; but whom I have 
never yet seen any reason to approve of, either as a 
politician or as a Minister. ... It is high time for us 
to pull up if we do not mean to be hurried away into 
courses precisely the reverse of the whole tenor of our 
lives. For God's sake consider this more than you 
seem to have done yet."^ 

Very different was the feeling of Lord Sidmouth's 
friends. They had voted with Mr. Pitt in the neck and 
neck division of the 8th of April. But in the subse- 
quent conflicts they were all found hostile. Not con- 
tent with voting, there were several among them, as 
Bond and Hiley Addington, who spoke with the utmost 
bitterness against Lord Melville. 

It was natural and indeed unavoidable that a corre- 

3 Courts aud Cabinets of George the Third, vol. iii. p. 418. 




sponding bitterness should arise against themselves. 
Pitt's friends, both inside the House and out of it, were 
Very angry. Of this wo may observe a token in a 
caricature of Gillmy's. It bears the data of July, 1805, 
It rejDresents Lord Melville as "the Wounded Lion** 
lying helpless on his side, while some jackasses are 
preparing to assail him. One of them is made to say 
to the other, " Very highly indebted to the lion, brother 
Hiley;" and the answer is, "Then kick him again, 
brother Bragge ! ** 

As the close of the Session drew near, Pitt felt it 
necessary to seek an explanation with Lord Sidmouth 
on tins subject, " Observe," he said, " the hostility and 
defiance against Government which the speeches of 
Bond and Hiley seem to show. Their conduct must, be 
marked. It is impossible for me to give them places 
now. If I did, my own sincerity would be suspected/* 

To these frank and explicit words Lord Sidmouth 
answered by renewing on his own and on Lord Buck- 
iughamshire's part a tender of resignation, Pitt asked 
him not to decide in haste, and they agreed to meet 
again. They were to have met on the 2nd of July. 
But here we find a token — only too frequent at this 
juncture — of Pitt's enfeebled health. "I am confined 
to the house to-day/* so he writes to Lord Sidmouth, 
"by a violent cold and rheumatism, which will also 
oblige me to keep myself under Sir Walter's orders 

The two statesmen saw each other again on the 4th. 
'*I told Mr. Pitt;* writes Lord Sidmouth, "that my 
friends had no wish by which I was embanassed. The 

VOL, IV* ^ 

814 liIPE OF PITT. Chap.XLL 

question was between him and me. I had urged 
nothing, bat he had deliberately and repeatedly told 
me that nothing could be done ; that the whole should 
be suspended till the next Session, and that we should 
try in the mean time how we coTild go on together." 
Pitt was firm in his own view, but so was Lord Sidmouth 
in his. So the latter, with the Lord of Bucks, finally 

In the 7th, after the resignation was completed, and 
at Mr. Ktt's house on Putney Heath, they had another 
and the parting interview. Lord Sidmouth in his later 
years was fond of relating to his friends the details 
of what had passed. He had asked whether there had 
been anything iji his conduct at any time inconsistent 
with what was due from him to Mr. Pitt, to which 
Mr. Pitt holding out his hand replied, with tears in his 
eyes, "Never. I have nothing to acknowledge fix)m 
you but the most generous and honourable conduct, and 
I grieve that we are to part."* 

From the perfect probity of Lord Sidmouth in every 
circumstance of life, we may be sure that this conversa- 
tion passed exactly as he told it. On the other hand 
we may reasonably question the suflBciency of his 
motive for resigning. His principal friends had assured 
him that after their late votes they did not for the pre- 
sent desire — ^they would not even willingly accept — 
office. Lord Sidmouth was quite prepared in legal 
phrase to let judgment go against them by default. 
As his biographer explains it : " Had Mr, Pitt only 

< Life, by Dean PeUew, vol. ii. p. 373, 




sileotly deferred the fulfilment of his engagement for 
a time, allowance would have been due for the state 
of his feelings ; but by raising the point himself when 
there was no idea of pressing it upon him, he created a 
grievance which, but for his own act, would not have 

A grievance, but how very slight a one ! A varia- 
tion, but surely of an infinitesimal kind ! And surely 
also, of the two courses which Mr. Pitt might have here 
adopted, the one which he did adopt seems the more 
frankj the more manly, and the more becoming. 

To fill up the two vacant oflSces, Pitt transferred Loixl 
Camden from the War Department to the Presidency 
of the Councilj and gave the War Department to Lord 
Castlereagh, the latter still retaining the Board of 
OontroL Lord Harrowby having rallied from his ill- 
ness re-entered the Cabinet as Chancellor of the Dnehy 
of Lancaster, Several of Pitt's arrangements, besides 
Lord Barham's, were well imderstood at this jmictui'e to 
be only of a temporary kind. Several high offices 
would be at his disposal with the perfect good-will 
and cheerful consent of the actual holders in the event 
of a wider combination being made. So Ktt him- 
self stated it to Sose at CuflSiells in the September 

The Session was closed on the 12th of July, but not 
by the King in person. His Majesty was now suffering 
under a grievous calamity, the most grievous in this 
world perhaps, or second only to the mental aberrations 

* life, by Dean Pellew, vol, ii p. 377, 

T> 1 

316 LIFE OP PITT. Chap.XLI. 

which he had also undergone. He was beginning to 
lose his sight. One eye was almost entirely darkened, 
and the other grew less and less clear. There was a 
hope, but as it proved not well founded, that the ad- 
vance of the cataract would leave scope hereafter for a 
successful operation. . Meanwhile the King bore his dis- 
tress with the greatest fortitude and resignation. 






Niipoli?on crowned King^ of Italy — Annexation of Genoa to France — 
Qmni of Luct^a to the Piiocesa EliBa — Third Ctmlition — Ville* 
ncQve pursued by Nelsoia — ActioD between YilkueuTe and Cftlder 
— Villt^neuve proceeds to Cadiz ^ Resentment of Napoleon — War 
waged by him a^nid the AuEtrians — Nelson at Mc^rton — Ap- 
pointed to eommand the Fleet destined for Cadiz — Takes leave of 
Pitt — Arrival of Sij Arthur Wei leal ey from India — Pitt's fniitiesa 
repieeeDtationB to the King — Hiulast interview with Lord Sidmonth 
— Projected expedition t<j the north of Germany — Surrender of Mack 
at Ulm — Its effect upon Pitt — Battle of Trafalgar, and death of 
Nelson — Pitt a laat epeeeh in public — The Duke of Weill ngtoo'fl 
deecriptioo of Mm at thia period — Notes of Lords Fitzharns and 

We must now revert to the proceedings of our indefe- 
tigable and Imperial adversary. He had gone to be 
eroT^Tied as King in the Cathedral of Milan ; and the 
ceremony took place in solemn state on the 26th of 
May, ** Cisalpine " and " Cispadane " were names no 
longer used; the title which he assumed was that of 
*■ King of Italy.** The very title gave great offence and 
alarm to Austria, since it seemed to involve a claim to 
her recently acqim-ed Venetian provinces. But greater 
still was the offence, greater still the alarm, which two . 
other acts of Napoleon at nearly the same time pro* 
duced. The one was the annexation of the Republic of 
Genoa to France. The other was the grant of Lucca as 
a fief, or dependent principality^ to one of his sisters, the 
Princess Elisa Baciocchi. Both these acts were thought 

318: LITE OP PITT. Chap. XLH. 

to prove the aspiring chargfcter of his ambition, and the 
continued progress of the aggrandizements which he 
desired for his empire. 

So great indeed was the significance ascribed to these 
acts, that they appear to have decided the result of the 
negotiations. The Emperor Alexander sent orders to 
M. Novosiltzoff, already at Berlin, not to proceed to 
Paris, but on the contrary to return to Petersburg. The 
Emperor Francis signified his accession to the treaty of 
the 11th of April. This he did on the 9th of August, 
through Count Stadion, his Minister at Petersburg, 
claiming, however, at the same time, a subsidy of 
3,000,000£ from England, In the same month of 
August Sweden acceded also, and concluded another 
Convention of Subsidy with the English Government. 
And thus was formed, under the guidance of Mr. Pitt, 
the third Coalition against France in its Eevolutionary 

It would not be diflScult, from the despatches which 
remain, to relate step by step, and through all their 
phases, the negotiations with the several Courts which 
Mr. Pitt superintended. But it may suflSce to give their 
general scope in the opinion of Lord Malmesbury— 
qualified beyond all Englishmen at that period to form 
an opinion on such a subject. That opinion, be it ob- 
served, was not expressed with any view of pleasing or 
paying court to Mr. Pitt, since it was merely put down 
in the private note-book of the veteran diplomatist: 
" During the whole of the year Pitt was negotiating his 

great alliance with Bussia and Austria Never was 

any measure, so far as human foresight can go, better 



eombiiied or better negotiated Pitt, whom I saw 

in Downing Street on the 26tb of September, gave me 
a most minute and clear account of tliis whole measure, 
and was very jtii^tly sanguine as to its result/** 

Critics, however, are not wanting. Some partisans 
of Addington'a Minktry consider its system of isolation 
as preferable, under all the circumstances, to the system 
of alliances in Pitt's. It is argued that Austria was 
exhausted by her recent conflicts, and would have 
waged war with much more \ngour if recruited by a 
longer rest. But in this argument it seems to be 
forgotten that this period of rest would have profited to 
France in at least the same proportion. If a confederacy 
against, the immense power of France was wise at all — 
l^tnd there are but few who dispute it — there seems no 
feason to believe that ite chances of success would have 
been increased by postponing it from 1805 to 1808 or 

But in truth the case is stronger stilL ThepoUcy of 
Napolerm at that time was one of rapid aggression. 
Thus in one year he had annexed Piedmont, and in 
anuther Genoa. Thus on one side he over-rode Switzer- 
land, and on another aide he dictated to Spain. If then 
this policy were to continue micheeked, it would foUow 
that the chances would become less and less in favour of 
the Allies the longer the conflict was delayed. 

These argimientSj it will be observed, stand on wide 
and European, and by no means merely English grounds. 
They are wholly independent of the wish which we 

Diaries of Lord Malmesburj^ yoL iv. p. 339. 

320 LIFE OF PITT. Chap. XLU. 

might be supposed to feel to turn aside from us as soon 
as possible the threatened torrent of invasion. 

His objects beyond the Alps having been accom- 
plished, Napoleon, with his customary spirit, darted back 
from Italy. Leaving Turin on the evening of the 8th, 
he reached Fontainebleau on the morning of the 11th 
of July. On the 3rd of August he was once more in 
his camp at Boulogne, intent as ever on invading the 
opposite shores. The very day after his arrival he wrote 
to Decres, his Minister of the Marine, in nearly the same 
phrase as he had used the year before : *' The English 
I do not know what is hanging over their ears. If wei 
I can but be masters of the passage for twelve hours, \ 
VAngleterre a vicu — ^England will have ceased to be."* 

To obtain the command of the Channel for a few days 
or hours. Napoleon had in some degree modified his 
plan of the preceding year. He still desired that Ville- 
neuve at Toulon, and Missiessy at Eochefort, should 
put to sea at the first fevourable opportunity. But his 
present idea was that they should sail straight to the 
West Indies. There he hoped that they might attract 
a large proportion of the English fleet, and from thence 
they might suddenly return, forming one armada, and 
riding superior in the sea opposite Boulogne. Spain 
being still under the absolute sway of France, and now 
at open war with England, the co-operation of her 
squadrons at Cadiz and Ferrol might henceforth be 
obtained. But the supreme command was vested in 

2 Letter of the 16 Thermidor^ an I in the French archives, and cited 
xiii, (August 4, 1805), preserved 1 by M. Thiers. 




Villcneuve, an officer of courage, fidelity, and skill, but 
a little shrinking from suet vast reBponsibilities, and of 
that ill-oniened mood of mind which does not merely 
forebode calamities, but produces them. 

In pursuance of his instractions, Villeneuve seized 
hia opportimity and sailed fi-om Totdon on the 30th of 
March^ with eleven ships of the line. Off Cadiz he 
drew to himself the Spanish Admiral Gravina, with part 
of the Spanish squadron, and he cast anchor at Marti- 
nique on the 14th of May- Missiessy, by favour of a 
stonn in leaving Roehefort, had already an-ived in the 
West Indies, but Ganteaume had been unable to break 
the blockade of Brest Still, however, Yilleneuve had 
now united, and nnder his orders, twenty line of battle 
ships ; a number which seemed adequate to the object 
which he had in view* 

Nelson was at this time commanding in the Mediter- 
ranean. He had been a w^ami Mend to the Addington 
administration, but was no enemy to that which suc- 
ceeded. " I am free and independent,'* so he writes in 
one of his most familiar letters ; ^ '* I like both Pitt and 
Lord Melville, and why should 1 oppose them ? " 

Under all changes of Ministers Nelson continued to 
serve his country with the same ardent spirit and uncon- 
querable zeaL Finding that the fleet of Yilleneuve had 
passed the Straits of Gibraltar, he followed at once with 
his own ten ships. The magic of his name sufficed to 
protect our West India islands. Yilleneuve, who was 
planning an attack upon Barbadoes, relinquished it as 

^ To J4idy Httmilton, August 22, 1804. 

^ ^ 


tlTE or PITT. 

soon as he leamt that Nelson was at hand. With such a 
chief as the hero of the NOe, evon twelve ships (for 
Nelson had been joined by Admiral Cochrane and two 
ships more) might become a match for twenty. Yille- 
neuve fell in with and took a homeward bound convoy 
of coasiderahle value, but he indulged no further dreams 
of West India conquest, and on the 9th of June he was 
already in full sail back again to Europe. 

It is, however, only just to state in reference to the 
superior numbers of the French and Spanish ships that 
the latter partook of the general decadence of their 
country at this time. Under the miserable government 
of the Prince of the Peaee the fleets were left to rot in 
the harbourSj and on a sudden call they had been 
hastily, and by no means efficiently equipped* 

Nelson on his part, ^rith his twelve ships, was most 
eager to get at Villeneuve. He hoped, as he said, to 
see the glories of Eodney renewed in the same seas. 
But he was misled by false intelligence, which caused 
him to seek the enemy at Tobago instead of Mtrrtinique. 
Finding that they had departed, and were, as ho be- 
lieved, steering back to Europe, he set sail for Europe 
also on the 13th of June, with his own ten and only one 
of Cochrane's ships. On the 19th of July he anchored 
at Gibraltar ; and next day, says he, " I went on shore 
for the first time since June 16, 1803/* 

Nelson, however, did not pause at Gibraltar. Con- 
sulting with his old friend Admiral Collingwood, they 
thought it probable that the invasion of Ireland miglit 
be the ultimate object of the French and Spanish arma- 
ment. Nelson therefore set ofl* again at full sail to pro- 




iitect the Irish coasts. Finding tliat the ships of Ville' 
leiive had not been seen or heard of in that quarter, he, 

' without an hour s loss of time, steered back into the 
Channel, where he hope^i to find them ; and on the 15th 
of August he joined the fleet of Admiral ComwalUs at 
Ushant, In this pursuit of Villeneinre to and from tJie 

' West Indies, Nelson showed skill and exertions such as 
have seldom been equalled, and never been surpassed. 
So says Mi% Southey, and his praise would have seemed 
excessive to the French writers of his age ; but more re- 
cently their honourable candour has expressed the same 
opinion in terms of even higher commendation to their 
gallant enemy. 

TIxe true object of Villeneuye was in the first place to 
liberate the squadron at FerroL Some way off Cape 
Pinisterre he met the fleet of Sir Bobei-t Calder ; and 
on the 22nd of July there ensued a partial action be- 
tween them. Calder had but fifteen hne-oi-battle slops 
to oppose the twenty of Villeneuve ; nevertheless, ere 
night came on, two of the Spanish vessels had struck 
their flag to that of England* Next morning, and for 
flome time longer, the two fleets remained at gaze ; at 
last they bore away in difi'erent du'ectione, as though by 
conmion consent. For this both Admirals were severely 
blamed. The French officers ccjmplained that Ville- 
neuve did not renew the conflict where his supeiier 
force gave well-grounded hope of victory. The English 
officers complained that Calder did not further pm-sue 
the advantage which he had already won. Subsequently 
Sir Robert was tried by a Court-Martial, and was found 

f Guilty, but only of an error in judgment. 



Chap. SLII, 

. After tlie engagement with Sir Robert, Villeneuve 
touched first at Vigo- Thence, after some days, which 
he spent in refitting, he proceeded to Coniua and FerroL 
The Spanish line-of- battle ahips ready to join him at the 
latter, brought up liis entire number to twenty-nine. He 
found on shore renewed orders from Napoleon to sail 
straight to Brest, to break its blockade by a battle with 
Corawallis, and then proceed into the Channel oon- 
jointly with Ganteanme, The personal bravery of 
Villenenve urged liim to this enterprise, but his fore- 
boding temper deterred him. He expected to find 
Nelson abeady in combination either with Comwallis 
or with Calderj and he knew that snch a combination 
might suffice to overwhelm him. In this, as it chanced, 
he judged too little favourably of his own fortune. The 
dates which I have given will show that there was still 
an interval of which he might have profited before 
Nelson had returned. 

Villenenve passed some days in great uncertainty 
and anguish of mind. When he had formed his reso- 
lution he did no more than liint it in his private letters 
to the Minister Decres. He concealed it even from 
General Lanriston, who commanded the troops on 
board. It was not till he put again to sea that he 
announced the course which he meant to take. He 
had come to the concliision that liis force was whoUy 
inadequate to the enterprise upon Brest He deemed 
it his duty to steer in the very opposite direction, and 
proceed to Cadiz, where he might expect the further 
junction of several ships of the Hue, 

During tliis time Napoleon at Boulogne was in a state 


of great suspense and most eager expectation. For 
hours and hours together he was seen to stand on the 
eea-shore straining his eyes along tlie vast expanse, and 
watching for a sail to rise on the blue horizon. Some 
of his oJBScers stationed, telescope in hand, at divers 
points upon the cliffs, had orders to bring him the most 
early intimation of all they could discern. His troops 
at the several small port^ besides Boulogne, were all 
prepared and ready to embark at a moment's notice. 
No time was to be lost when once the fleets of Ville- 
neuve and Ganteaume should appear. The anxiety of 
the Emperor at this period was the greater since the 
designs of Austria and of Russia were no longer any 
secret to him. Austria indeed bad all but openly de- 
clared herself, and her army was already in movement 
to cross her frontier stream, the Inn. Still Napoleon 
trusted that there would be time for him to strilte a 
quick and deadly blow on England before he was called 
U]>on to wage a Continental war ia Germany ; but under 
such circumstances, every day, every hour, became of 
pai-amount and pressing importaiice. 

Under such circumstances, then, did the tidings reaeh 

* Napoleon that his fleet had left Ferrol, but was steer- 
ing to Cadix instead of Brest The fiery biurst bf his not 
unmerited resentment may be more readily imagined 
than described. He found not only his orders disobeyed, 
but bis policy baffled. He found himself compelled to 

Jrelinqnish the scheme of a descent on England which 
he had so long cherislied and so ably prepared. M. 
Dam, the historian of Venice, who was then Chief Clerk 
in the Wai* Department, saw Napoleon on the very 



Chap. XLIL 

morning that tlie news arrived; and he vividly depicts 
the scene which followed, in a fragment, aa yet unpub- 
lished, of his Memoirs. Ho found, as he states, the 
Emperor in great agitation, uttering words to himself, 
and seeming eearce to see the persons that came in. 
All this while Dam stood by in silence, and awaiting 
instructions. Of a sudden Napoleon walked up to him 
and began abruptly : " Do you know," he cried, ** do 
you know where Villeneuve is now ? He is at Cadiz — 
at Cadiz!" Then he descanted, at some length and 
with much ardour, on the weakness and the incapacity 
which had led to this result, and which must ruin 
his project of inyasion — the best conceived project^ 
he said, and the surest, that he ever in his Ufe had 

But the mighty genius of Napoleon soon rose superior 
to such gusts of unavailing resentment or regret. He 
calmed himself at once by a resolute exertion of Ids wilh 
On that veiy jnorning M. Dam wrote down, under his 
dictation and during several hours, a series of detailed 
insti'uctions to cany out an entirely new plan which 
Nafjoleon formed. Though the sea was closed against 
liiui, the Continent w^as open. Though he could na| 
longer deal his threatened blow on England, he might J 
strike at the Austrian armies before the Kussians were J 
prepared to t^ke the field. With this view all the orders 
were given. The several divisions of French troops 
were drawn as silently as possible from the Channel 

* This uTjpulilislieil fragment 
was commuuicated by M. Dam's 
am to M, TbitirSt and La^ been 

cited by tbe latter (Hist, du Gone, 
et de TEmpire, voL v. p. 464}. 




coast, and moYed by rapid marches to divers points 
npon the Rliine, Artillery and stores were sent forwaixl 
to Strasburg and ]\Iayence, 

The Austriana, with General Mack as their chief com- 
mander, had fully expected to snrf>rise their formidable 
adversary while still entangled with his English expe- 
dition. On the 8th of September they passed the Inn 
and advanced into Bavaria. But the lion had already 
bnrst from his trammels. On the 2nd of the month the 
Emperor had set ont from Boxdogne, He remained 
some time at Paris, partly to provide for the government 
in his absence, and partly to allow time for the march 
of his army ; but on the 24th he left the Tuileries, and 
on the 26th he was at Strasbiu-g, He found tlie columns 
of his troops arrived upon the Ehine, and eager to pass 
it under his command* Turning their thoughts, as he 
had his, from England, they look(:Kl forward to new con- 
quests with Ills eagles borne aloft in Germany — ^or, as 
the Germans in that its last year still preferred to call 
it, the *' Holy Roman Empire " Such, then, was the 
origin and snoh the outset of the wonderful campaign 
of 1805. 

Lord Nelson did not long remain with Admiral Corn- 
waUis. The crews of his owti flag-ship the Victory and 
of the Superb were exhausted in strength, though not 
in spirit, by their long-continued buffeting at sea ; and, 
according to the orders of the Admbalty, Nelson brought 
both vessels to Spithead. He then went on shore, and 
proceeded to his house at Merton in Surrey* Even 
there, and while relieved for a time from his public 
duty, he was most earnestly intent on the public service* 



Chap. XLH. 

This the following letter, written as it was at daybreak, 
will evince : — 

Lord Nehon to Mr. PitL 

** Gordon's Hotel, 6 A.M*, 
*SSlE, Aug. 29, 1805. 

"I cannot rest until the iraportance of Sardinia, 
in every point of view, is t^iken into consideration. If 
my letters to the different Secretaries of State cannot 
be found, I can bring them with me. My belief is, that 
if France po&^esses Sardinia, which she may do any 
moment she pleases, our commerce must suffer most 
severely, if possible to be carried on. Many and most 
important reasons could be given why the French must 
not be suffered to possess Sardinia ; but your time is 
too precioiis to read more words than is necessary: 
therefore I have only stated two strong points to call 
your attention to the subject. I am sure our fleet would 
find a difficulty, if not impossibility, in keeping any 
station off Toulon, for want of that island to supply 
catUe, water, and refreshments, in the present state of 
the Mediterranean ; and that we can have no certainty 
of commerce at any time, but what France chooses to 1 
allow us, to either Italy or the Levant. 
" I am, &c., 

"Nelson and Bronte." 

Nelson at Merton was for one or two weeks at rest^ 
or rather he only seemed to be so; for his soid was 
burnhag within him ; he longed to be at that French 
fleet which he had either watched or chased withont i 
cessation during the last two years* He felt that those 
ships were or ought to be his own, as the rewai*d of his 




past toils — that no man but himself should strike the 
decisive hlow agaiost them. Unable any longer to resist 
the noble impulse, he wrote to Lord Barham, as the 
head of the Admiralty, offering to undertake the com- 
mand of the great fleet designed to be sent out to meet, 
and, if possible, engage the enemy off Cadiz. 

The offer so honoumbly made was most gladly ac- 
cepted. At the interview which ensued Lord Barham 
^4esired him to choose his own officers- How many an 
Admiral might here have thought of his cousins or 
his hangers-on! But the answer of Lord Nelson was 
fraught in a higher strain. " Choose yourself, my 
Lord/* he said. " The same spirit actuates the whole 
profession. You cannot choose wrong ! " 

Before he finally left London, Nelson went to take 
leave of Mr. Pitt, and then retumed, for the last time, 
to his family and friends at Merton, Among his guests 
at that period, in September, 1805, was one of his 
nephews, who was still smTiving, in an honoured old 
age, to vintlicate his memory from some harsh asper- 
sions, in November, 1861.^ 

It appeai^s from this gentleman's statement, that Lord 
Nelson, on his return to Merton, beiog asked in what 
manner he had been received by Mr. Pitt, repUed that 
he had every reason to be gratified. At Mr. Pitt's 
desire he had explained his whole views upon the naval 

* See the eiceUent aod feeling 
letter ill leply to Mrs. St George's 
journal, which was published in 
Tfie Times of Nov. 0, 1S61, from 
** A Nepkew of Admiral Lord Nel- 

son/' I have siuce, throagh the 
courtesy of the writer, been made 
acquainted with his nurne, and 
leiirnt from biua some further par- 
ticulars of thi) parting iuterview* 



Chap* Xtll. 

war. As regarded the French fleet at Cadiz, Mr. Pitt 
had asked what force would he Bufflcient to eneui'e a 
victory over it* Lord Nels<in mentioned his opinion on 
that point, but addeil, that his object was not merely to 
conqner, but to annihilate ; on which Mr. Pitt assured 
him tluit whatever force Lord Nelson held neceasaiy for 
that object should, so far as possible, be sent out to him. 
And then Lord Nels<jn, telliug the tale to his family, 
added these words: "IL*. Ktt paid me a compliment 
wliich, I LelievOj he woulfl not have paid to a Prince of 
the Blood. "V^Tien I rose to go, he left the room with 
me and attended me to the carriage." 

How gi'eat a parting scene — ^Nelson sent forth by Pitt 
to Trafalgar ! Surely it might deserve not only a ' 
biogi'aphcr's commemoration, but also an artist's skilL 

Nelson's preparations for his high command wei*e soon 
completed. On the Diglit of September tho 13th he set 
out from hifi house at Meiion — " dear, dear Merton," as 
he writes in his note-book, "where I left all wdiich I 
hold dear in this world/* Next day he embarked at 
Portsmouth in his old flag-ship, so renowned thi*ough 
liim, the Victory. Ho sailed at the head of the great 
fleet combined for this great service, and on the 29th of 
the month — his birthday — ^he arrived off the coast of 

Thusj then, on nearly the same day, at the close of 
September, two men of genius and energy, such us no 
age has seen sui-pasaed for warfare by land or by sea^ 
Napoleon and Nelson — ^had readied the poiats for action 
which tliey desired and designed, and were ready to 
strike a blow, each on his own element, each with a 




force and against antagonists worthy of his fame. Never 
were higher expectations raised — never did expectations, 
however high, more signally fall short of the great 

In the course of that same Septemher there landed 
from India a man destined to play a part not less 
momorahle than Lord Nelson's in the warlike annals of 
his country* This was Sir Ailhiu' Wellesley, And at 
nearly the same time came a letter as follows : — 

Marquis WeUesley to Mr. Pitt 
" My dear Pitt, *' Fort WDham, March 28, 1805, 

" My health and many other considerations make ma 
extremely anxious to return to England. Undoubtedly 
it is my duty to determine my conduct in the goveni- 
ment of this great empire by considerations of higher 
importance than the temper of the India House; but 
the operation of that bedy upon all the springs of this 
government is so powerful, that it is impossible to 
govern India with satisfaction while the Court of Direo- 
t<-)rs shall entortaui an unfavourable opinion of my 
services, and shall be permitted by the Euard of Control 
to manifest that opinion in the most indecorous lan- 
guage. I propose by another packet to write to you 
more fully on this subject, with a view to justify my 
determination of leaving India at the earliest practi- 
cable moment^ notwithstanding your most kind letter 
of the 31st August, 1804. I received that letter with 
the most cordial scmse of gratitude and satisfaction. 
Your approbation, esteem, and friendship are the pri- 
mary objects of all my hopes and cares ; but in order 
to enable me to remain at this arduous post, I 



must receive the direct, unambiguous, effective siipi)ort 
of tlie Board of Control, and the Court of Directors 
must not be suffered to harass all my operations by 
peevish and vexations counter-action. Being well ap- 
prised of all yonr difBcnlties, I will not increase them, 
and therefore I will not urge you to grant these advan- 
tages at the hazard of your own embarrassment in the 
conduct of afluirs at home ; but yon are now fully 
apprised of the state of my situation in India, and if 
you should wish me to continue, you will take the neceM 
sary steps for that purpose* or your candour and justice 
will pardon my retreat in December or January next, at 
the latest, whatever may be the state of affairs here. 

" I was highly gratified by the honours conferred on 
Lord Lake and Sir Arthur Welle^ley. The public effect 
of that most judicious measure was extremely salutary 
in India. It has raised the spmts of the w^hole army ; 
and I return you my most sincere thanks for your 
attention to my recommendation of their glorious 

"I congratulate you upon your success in providing 
against the menaced invasion with such alacrity and 
vigour. We are in anxious expectation of learning the 
details of the Emperor's disasters in that rash attempt. 
Let me recommend Sir Arthur Wellesley to you: I 
think you will be pleased with his knowledge and 
talents. If you should w^ant a good General, I can 
assure you he will prove useful to you. 

" Ever, my dear Pitt, &c., 

" Wellesley/' 

Sir Arthur on his arrival in London was most warmly 
welcomed by Mr, Pitt, both as the brother of a constant 
iriend, and as himself the victor of Asaye and Argaum. 




They had many eoBversatioiifi on mihtary Eoatters, and 
each made a most favourable impression on the other. 
What Mr. Pitt said of Sir Arthur, only a few days before 
his own death, will be recorded by me in its proper 
place. The Duke of Wellington, to the close of his 
life, continued to speak of Mr. Pitt in terms of high 
regard and veneration. He nsed, during several years, 
to attend the anniversaries of the Pitt Dinner, with the 
object of doing honour to his memory; and he has more 
than once told me that, in his opinion, Mr. Pitt was the 
greatest Minister that has ever ruled in England, 

The Session of 1805 had been a severe strain on Mr. 
Pitt, by the great exertions which it rendered necessary. 
With only one other Cabinet Minister in the House of 
Commons, and amidst the constant attacks which the 
nearer view of office prompt^ from the opposite benches, 
he had to contend not only against all his former 
enemies, but also against some of his former colleagues, 
and this in an enfeebled state of health, and in a 
balanced state of public feeling Pitt was not without 
some hope that the experience of the past year might 
make the King less adverse to his counsels for an ex- 
tended basis of administration. 

In this hope, Pitt determined to seek an audience of 
Ills Sovereign. He was bound to remain in London, or 
near it, so long as any prospect of French invasion 
remained. But when the French army was in fall 
march from the Channel coast, and when Napoleon 
himself had left Boulogne, Pitt set out for Weymouth, 
where the King was passing some weelvs. On the first 
day of his arrival he was alone with His Majesty for 




three hoiirs^ and urged anew, but quite in rain, all the 
argniiiente he conldj stopping short only at the point 
where he feared lest he might disturb the health or the 
mind of his Eoyol Master."* 

Some details of this visit are supplied by Mr, Bose, 
whose Diary, after many months' cessation, at this 
point, thongh but for some days, recommences : 

"Sept 17,— Mr, Pitt left me at Cnflnells to go to the 
King at Weymouth, On the preceding eyening I had 
a conYersation of between two and three hours with 
him in my own room on the state of foreign and 
domestic politics. On the former he was extremely 
sanguine, from the treaties entered into with Eussia 
and Austria, and the measures taken in consequence of 

*' Sept, 21. — ^I arrived at Weymouth late in the 
evening, and supped with Mr. Pitt, who stated to me 
all that had passed with His Majesty, which was ex- 
tremely discouraging. He told me he was to have his 
definitive answer the next day, 

** Sundat/, Sejyt 22,^ — I went on the Esplanade early 
in the morning ; and at a quarter past seven the King 
came there, accompanied by Colonel Taylor, who, on 
the King calling me to him, left us. His Majesty then 
told me that Mr. Pitt had made very strong represen- 
tations to him of the neceasity of strengthening his 
G-ovemment by the accession of persons from the 
parties of Lord GrenviUe and Mr. Fox, but that he was 

® Bee a Dote derLved from au- 
thentic information, and ascribed 
to SIf George 0. Lcwia, in tlie 

Edinburgh Ee?iew of Jsmmrj^ 
1858, p. 107, 



persuaded there existed no necessity whatever for such 
a junction. * . , , I t^ld His Majesty that considering 
OUT situation in the House of Commons, I was perfectly 
persuaded if Mr. Pitt should be confined by the gout 
or any other complaint for only two or three weeks 
there would be an end of us, ... I had not the good 
fortune, however, to make any impression whatever on. 
His Majesty ; on the contrary, I found him infinitely 
more impracticable on the point than last year when at 

Lord Grenville through one or two of his old col- 
leagues, and Mr, Fox through Lord Grenville, received 
some early hints of the proposal which Mr. Pitt was 
about to lay before the King. Since His Majesty's 
consent could not be obtained, the proposal fell of 
course to the ground. But even had that consent been 
granted, the negotiation, with Fox at least, would not 
have procoeded very far. For, as we learn from Fox's 
familiar correspondence at this time, he intended to 
insist on the condition that Pitt should resign the head- 
ship of the Treasury, and that some friend of Fox, as 
Grey, or Lord Fitzwilliam, or Lord Moira, should be 
placed there in his stead. It is not clear, however, that 
every member of the Fox or the Grenville parties would 
have gone along with this exorbitant pretension ; and a 
schism in pohtics might perhaps on that account have 

Li another passage of his private correspondence — 
to Grey, on the 28tli of August — Fox mentions a dif- 
ferent rumour which had reached him. " Of Pitt I hear 
that to those who casually meet him, Ids appeamnce is 



Chap, XLU, 

just as it was in the House of Commons — that of 
extreme uneasiness^ and almost misery." But in tnith 
this description of Pitt must be taken as applying only 
to his bodily health. His spirits were at this time buoyant 
from the prospects of our new alliance with Eussia and 
Austria; as we learn from several testimonies, and, 
above all, Mr. Eose*8, during his visit at Weymouth* 

Another visit of Mr. Pitt at this period was prompted 
by personal regard. Henry, eldest son of Lord Sid- 
mouth, and Clerk of the Pells, was a youth of great 
promise. While his father was still Speaker he had 
been a great favourite with Mr* Pitt, and was frequently 
indulged in the privilege of playing chess with him. 
So says Lord Sidmouth's biographer* I may observe in 
passing that I do not recollect any other notice of 
Mr. Pitt*B fondness for that game. 

Unhappily, Henry Addington, being sent to Oxford, 
and ambitious of distinction, overstrained his powers of 
mind In the summer of 1805 he was dangerously ilL 
When the danger passed, it was found that he had sunk 
into a state of stupor, or rather imbecility. Seldom 
stirring, never speaking, and giving no sign of either 
pain or pleasure — such was the mournful state in which 
he continued till his death in 1823, 

Lord Sidmouth himself was at the time suffering 
from' severe indisposition, and Mr. Pitt rode to Rich- 
mond Park to inquire respecting father and son. He 
asked to see the first, but was by some mistake denied. 
Lord Sidmouth wrote to explain the accident, and ask 
his visitor to call if he could in another ride. The result 
is told as follows > — 




Lord Sidmouth to Mr, Hiky Addington. 

** Richmond Park, Sept. 29, 1805. 
"Between otirgelves, a Dissolution is not intended, 

\ and it is probable tbat rarliament w^U not meet till 
after Christmas. AH tliis, you will be surprised to bear, 

^ r had from Pitt, who sat here near an hour this 
morning, Oiir conversation was nearly eo grossed by 
the state of my family ; and the only pnblie topics 
adverted to were the preparations on the Continent and 
the state of His Majesty's health, the accounts of whirh 
are as good as possible. Pitt looked tolerably well, bnt 
had been otherwise/* 

That was, it may be noticed, the last occasion on 
which these two friends from early childhood ever saw^ 
reach other. 

At the beginning of October we find Mr, Pitt at 
Walmer Castle, intent upon a scheme for destroying 
the French boats which remained at Boulogne. 

Mr, Pitt to Lord CmtUreagh, 

*' Walmer Castle, Oct. 6, 1805. 
"Deae Castlereagh, 

" You will have learned from General Moore the 
substance of wliat passed between him and me, which 
left me convinced tbat any attempt at landing is 
attended w ith too much risk to jnstify the experiment. 
I still entertain considerable hopes of something effec- 
tual being done by the rockets, and I trust you will nut 
have bad mnch further diHiculty in overcoming the 
objections both of Ijord Keith and the Admiralty. Your 
answer to Lord Barbam places the subject exactly in 

VOL. IV. Ct 




the tnie light* I return the papers on tliat suhject, and 
also tlio^e from Lord Laviugton, Under the very pe- 
euliar cu-cuinstaneeB, it seems impossible to object to 
allowing the 20,000^. for which he has drawn. I hope 
to remain here till this day se'nnight, and shall be 
extremely glad if you can execute your intention of 
coming on Thursday. Witli this wind, I aro nineh dis- 
appointed not to have heard of aiiytlnng fresh from the 
Continent. « Ever sincerely yours, 

** W. Pitt." 

Lord Caatlereagh did accordingly join Mr. Pitt at 
Walmer Castle, and the two friends returned together 
to London on the 14th of October^ 

In the course of the same month Mr. Pitt paid a 
visit of some days to Lord Camden at Wilderness, and 
another to Lord Bathnrst at Cirencester, But he was 
never for many days together absent from London, 
Besides the great sciieme of European warfiire, which 
required his unceasing vigilance, he had at this time to 
consider the state of Ksh afifaiTS, When he formed his 
last administration, he was reconciled to his principal 
opponent at Dublin during the Union controversy, 
Mr. Foster, the late Speaker of the Irish House of 
Commons, This able man was appointed to the office, 
not yet abolished, of Chancellor of the Exchequer for 
Jjehtml But in that office, and with a seat in the 
Imperial Parliamentj his very ability, his very influ- 
ence, led to constant conflicts with the Lord Lieutenant 

y See the Castleneagh Corra- 
Bpondence, vol. vi. p. 12. Lord 
Ckstlei€;agh'& own MemniaQdum 

on BonlDgne fa given in another 
passage of the same compUatiou, 
vol. V. p, 91. ed. 1851. 



and the Chief Socretary. The framing and the passing 
of the Irish Bills could not be harnioniously adjusted 
between them. On one oceasion 3Ir, Foster wrote to 
Pitt with a direct tender of his resigrnation, and at 
other times chafed and complained. Lord Hardwicbe 
on liis part, though in an amicable spirit to the 
Ministry, desired to quit the scene. Finally, Mr. Pitt - 
found it indispensable to change the executive Govern- 
ment at Dublin. For the new Lord Lieutenant he 
selected the son aud successor of the great Lord Clive, 
who in the preceding year had been promoted to the 
Earldom of Powis ; and as Chief Secretary he sent his 
tried and trusty friend Mr. Long. 

At this time Mi\ Pitt was busied, conjointly witli 
iLord Castlereagb, in planning an expedition to the 
luorih of Germany, which they hoped might both 
recover Hanover to the King and afford an important 
diversion to the Austrians. It was to consist at the 
outset of about eighteen thousand men, and was placed 
under the command, first of General Don, and subse- 
quently of Lord Cathcart*^ In this army Sir Arthur 
Wellesley was appointed to command a brigade ; and 
the first regiments sailed towai'ds the beginning of 
November. There was also sent out a much smaller 
force— between three and four thousand men — under 
Sir James Craig, to co-operate with a Russian arma- 
ment in the Bay of Naples, 

Events far mightier were now in progress. General 

^ See the iiiBtriiictiong to Lient.- 
Gen. Don in tbe Costlereagli Cor- 

respondence, voLti. p, 13, and tlio 
appointment of Lord Cfttkfart^p,56. 

340 LIFE OF PITT. Chap. XLII. 

Mack had taken post at Ulm, a strong position in which 
he might command the course of the Danube, and con- 
front the French as they came forward from the Ehine. 
But the Emperor Napoleon, by some rapid and masterly 
marches, took him in the rear. Of a sudden the 
Austrian General found himself shut out from all com- 
munication with the Austrian states. Confusion ensued 
in his councils, and separation in his ranks. Two bodies 
of troops broke loose and made their way from Ulm ; 
the one in the direction of Tyrol, the other in the 
direction of Bohemia. In a few days Mack himself, 
surrounded and hemmed in on all sides, had no resource 
but unconditional surrender. On the 19th of October 
his capitulation was signed. Next day issmng forth 
from the city-gates in the presence of Napoleon, he laid 
down his arms at the head of thirty thousand excellent 
troops. It was one of the heaviest reverses that ever 
befell the Imperial House of Germany. 

The tidings of this capitulation reached London at 
first as a mere unauthenticated rumour. Pitt gave no 
credit to it. On the 2nd of November Lord Malmesbury 
dined with him, and being his next neighbour at table 
spoke to him of the report which was current. " Don't 
believe a word of it ; it is all a fiction," answered Pitt, 
almost peevishly, and in so loud a voice as to be heard 
by all who were near them. "But," so continues 
Lord Malmesbury in his journal, " next day, which was 
Sunday the 3rd, he and Lord Mulgrave came to me in 
Spring Gardens about one o'clock, with a Dutch news- 
paper in which the capitulation of Ulm was inserted at 
full length. As they neither of them understood Dutch, 



and as all the offices were empty, they came to me to 
translate it, which I did as well as I could; and I 
observed but too clearly the eflect it had on Pitt, though 
he did his utmost to conceal it. This waa the last time 
I saw him. The visit has left an indelible impression 
on my mind, as his manner and look were not his own, 
and gave me, in spite of myself, a foreboding of the loss 
with which we were threatened.*' 

Within four days, however, the general gloom in 
England was changed to as general though not un- 
mingled joy. Tidings of no common triumph came 
from oflf Cadiz, After some weeks of rest inside that 
port^ Admiral de Villeneuve issued forth, with vessels 
not only much augmented in number, but newly equipped 
and appointed. Combined with Gravina he had thirty- 
three ships of the line and seven frigates, while Nelson 
had but twenty-seven of the first and four of the latt-er. 
At daybreak, on the 21st of October, the two fleets 

' neared each other ; the chiefs and crews on both sides 
full of ardour and impatient to engage* They were 
within sight of Cape Ti-afalgar, from which the ensuing 
battle has derived its name. Then it was that Nelson 
pent forth his famous signal to his fleet : "England 

(expects every man to do his duty/' 

To Collingwood, as to the next in command, Nelson 
had imparted his plan of att^ick several days before. 
It was to sail forward in two lines; Collingwood in 
charge of the second to break through the enemy about 
the twelfth ship from their rear, and Nelson himself to 
lead through the centre. Thus did the fleet advance ; 
Nelson and Collingwood each leading his line. The 



Chap. XLII. 

battle began a few minutes before noon. Nelson stood 
on the quarter-deck of the Victory dressed as usual in 
his AdmiraFs frockeoat, and bearing on liis breast the 
stars of his several Orders. These lie would not consent 
to lay aside or to coneeaL " In honour I gained them/' 
he said on a like occasion, "and in honour I vnil die 
with them " Li this manner be became a conspicuous 
mark to the riflemen upon the mizen-mast of the French 
ship the Eedoutable. He was struck by a shot 
through the shoulder in the very heat of action. He 
fell upon his face, and being borne below expired tbree 
hours afterwards. The last words which he was heard 
to gasp forth, and these more than once repeated, were : 
"Thank God I have done my duty." Happily he lived 
long enough to bear the glorious result of his exertions. 
He was assured that the victory was decided and com- 
plete. He was assured that fourteen or fifteen of the 
French and Spam'sh ships had already struck their flag. 
In truth the final result proved to be greater still. No 
less than twenty struck, though from a storm which 
immediately afterwards arose the greater number of 
these prizes were lost or went on shore, Villeneuve 
himself was among the prisoners, and Gravina was 
mortally wounded. 

There is one consideration which may, I think, set in 
its true light the gloiy of Nelmin. Our greatest navrd 
exploits in the French Ecvolutionary War may be com- 
puted at six r— the First of June, Camperdown, St. 
Vincent^ the Nile, Copenhagen, and Trafalgar ; and of 
these six, four were achieved with Nelson's aid, and 
three with Nelson in the chief command. 







Comidering that Trafalgar and Waterloo, tte two 
greatest victories by sea or land wUch onr history can 
record, were fought within ten years of each other, it 
has sometimes occurred to me to inquire whether any 
man could be named who by any chance was present at 
b<:>th, and I once asked that question of the Duke of 
Wellington. He told me that he knew of only one — 
General Alava. At Trafalgar, the General was in the 
Spanish naval service, and on board the flag-ship ; at 
AVaterloo, as is well known, he stood by the Dukes 

The despatches of Collingwood with the tidings of 
Trafalgar reached London on tlie 7th of November. 
Never yet did any tidings stir up in the public such 
blended and opposite emotions. Joy for the national 
triumph was dashed with grief for the hero's fall. Men 
felt that tinder such circumstances they could neither 
exult as they ought to have exulted, nor yet mourn as 
they should have moxirned. , 

These twofold emotions w*ere stronger in no man's 
breast than in that of the Prime Minister. Lord Fitz- 
harris says in his note-book :— ** One day in November, 
1805, I happened t^ dine with Pitt, and Trafalgar was 
naturally the engrossing subject of our conversation. 
I shall never forget the eloquent manner in which he 
described his conflicting feelings when roused in the 
night to read Colling wood's despatches. He observed 
that he had been called up at various hours in his 
eventful life by the arrival of news of various hues ; but 
whether good or bad, he could always lay his head on 
his pillow and sink into sound sleep agaiiu On this 



Chap. XLU. 

occasion, however, the great event announced brought 
with it so much to weep over as well as to rejoice at, 
that he could not calm his thoughts ; but at length got 
up, though it was three in the morning." • 

Fox likewise joined in the national feeling, although 
it is painful to observe in his mind some small alloy of 
baser ore. Here are his words to Lord Holland on the 
very day the news arrived : " It is a great event, and 
by its solid as well as brilliant advantages far more than 
compensates for the temporary succour which it will 
certainly afford to Pitt in his distress." ^ 

On the 9th of November Pitt wrote as follows to 
Nelson's brother, the heir of his English barony : 

Mr. Pitt to Lord Nelson. 

" My Lord, " Downing Street, Nov. 9, 1805. 

** I feel a melancholy pleasure in announcing to 
your Lordship, by the King's commands. His Majesty's 
intention to confer on the heirs of your illustrious and 
lamented brother those honours which, had his life 
happily been prolonged for the benefit and glory of his 
country, would have marked in his own person the sense 
His Majesty entertains of his transcendent and heroic 

"His Majesty has accordingly given directions for 
preparing a patent creating your Lordship an Earl of 
the United Kingdom, by the title of Earl Nelson of 

* Note to the Diaries of Lord 
Malmesbmy, vol. iv. p. 341. 

* Correspondence, as published 

by Lord John Bussell, vol. 
p. 121. 




Trafalgar, with the same remainders as are now anTiexed 
to the Barony which has devolved un your Lordship; 
and His Majesty will recommend to Parliament to 
settle an adequate income to descend to all the future 
possesaot^ of this dignity, 

" I cannot close tliis letter without expressing a hope 
that these marks of honour from the Sovereign, accom- 
patiied as they will be by everj^ proof of public gratitude, 
will contribute in some degree to soothe the feelings of 
those who have to struggle witli the weight of domestic 
affliction, added to the sense of national loss, which per- 
vades the whole country, 

** I have the honour to be, &c., 

" W. Pitt,** 

In pursuance of the intention wldcli this letter ex- 
presses, Lord Nelson was created Eai4 Nelson and 
Viscount Trafalgar. He further received a grant of 
GUOO?. a-yeiir, and a sum of 100,000/. for the purchase 
of an estate. An English Barony was also, with no 
more than strict justice, conferred on Collingwood — a 
man most truly " gallant and good," as, after Copen- 
hagen, Nelson called Captain Kiou, 

On the 9th of November, the Lord Mayor's Day, 
there was, as usual, a great dinner at Guildhall. Pitt, 
as Prime Minister, had accepted the invitiition, and went 
with some of his colleagues* His popularity, which had 
waned in these latter times, apjietu'ed on that day to 
shine forth in all its pristine lustre. On his way to the 
Mansion House he was greeted \nth loud acclamations. 
In Cheapside the multitude took olf the horses from his 
carriage, and drew him exultingly alung. At the ban- 

Q 3 




Chap. XLII. 

quet the Lord Mayor proposed his health as "the 
SaYiour of Eiirope/' Then Pitt rose, and si>oke nearly 
as Ibllows :— " I return you many thanks for the honour 
you have done me ; but Europe is not to be saved by 
any single man. England has saved herself by her 
exertions, and will, as I trust, save Europe by her ex- 
ample," With only these two sentences the Minister 
sat down. They were memorable words. They sank 
deep into the minds of his hearers. For, besides their 
own impressive beauty, they were the last words that 
Mr. Pitt ever spoke in public. 

Among the other guests at that banquet was Sir 
Arthur Wellesley. My readers will certainly be well 
pleased to see his -description of Pitt's speech and of 
Pitt himself at that time. I shall give it exactly as I 
noted it down on the same day that I heard it : 

NoteB of convenatmi with the Duke of WelUngtmi 
at Walmer, October 25, 1838. 

The Duke and I spoke of Mr. Pitt, lamenting his 
early death. *^ I did not think," said the Duke, *' that 
he would have died so soon. He died in January, 
1800 ; and I met him at Lord Camden's, in Kent, and 
I think that he did not seem ill, in the November 
previous. He w^as extremely hvelvt and In good spirits. 
It is true that he was % wai/ of being an invalid at 
that time. A great deal was always said about his 
taking his rides — for he used then to ride eighteen or 
twenty miles every day — and great pains were taken to 
send forward his luncheon, bottled porter, I think, and 
getting him a beef-steak or mutton chop ready at some 
place Hxed beforehand. That place was always men- 





tioned to the party, bo that those kept at homo in the 
niorniDg might join tho ride there if' they pleased. On 
coming htnue from the^e rides, they used to put ou dry 
clothes, and to hohl a Cahinet* tor all the party were 
memhers of the Cahinet, except me and, I think, the 
Duke of Montrose, At dinner Mr. Pitt drank littk' 
wine ; hut it was at that time the fashion to sup, and 
]ie then took a great dea! of port-wine and water. 

" In the Bame month I also met Mr. Pitt at the Lord 
]\Iayor*B dinner ; he tiid not seem ill. Ou that occasion 
I remember he returned tlianks in one of the best and 
neatest speeches I ever heard in ray life. It was in very 
lew words. The Lord JIayor had proposed his health i\h 
ime who liad been tlie Saviour uf Englaod, and \\'0uld be 
the Saviour of the rest of Europe, Sir. Pitt then got np, 
disclaimed the compliment as applied to himself, and 
added, ' England has saved herself by her exertions, and 
the rest of Europe will be saved by her example ! * That 
was all ; he w^as scarcely up two minutes ; yet notliing 
could be more perfect, 

** I remember anotlier curious thing at that dinner, 
Erskine was there. Now Mr. Pitt had always over 
Ersldne a great ascendency- — the ascendency of terror. 
Sometimes^ in the House of Commons, he could keep 
Erakine in cheek by merely putting out his hand or 
making a note. At this dinner, Erskine*8 liealth having 
been drank, and Erskine rising to xetum thanks, Pitt 
held up his finger, and said to him across tlie table, 
' Erskine ! remember that they are drinking yom- health 
as a distuiguished Colonel of Volunteers.' Erskine, who 
had intended, as we heard, to go off upon Eights of 
Juries, the Stttte Trials, and other jxthtical pomts, was 
guite put out ; he was awed like a sehool-boy at school, 
and in his speech kept strictly within the limits enjoined 




Chap. XLIU 

I will here add some other reminiscences, which refer 
to exactly the same period — that is, October and No- 
vember,. 1805. 

Wrom the Note-book of Lord Fitzkarris^ 

**I met Pitt at Lord Bathurst's, in Gloucestershire, 
where he passed some days. We went to church at 
( ■irencester. In discoursing afterwords on the beauties 
of our Litiu-gy, lie selected the Thanksgiving Prayer as 
one particularly impressive and eomprehonsive. The 
one * In Time of War and Tumults/ lie thought admi- 
rably well drawn up, as well as that for the Parliament ; 
but added, with respect to the first of the two, that he 
never in hearing it could divest himself of the analogy 
between * abate their pride^ assoage their malice,' iiud 
the line in the song of ' God save the King/ ' Con- 
found their pohties, frustrate their knavish tricks/ I 
observed that I*itt was constantly taking down and 
quoting from Lucan, of which author he appeared to 
be extremely fond. Nothing could be more playfal, 
and, at the same time, more instructive, than Pitt's 
conversation on a variety of subjects while sitting in the 
library at Cirencester. You never would have guessed 
that the man before you was Prime Minister of the 
country, and one of the greatest that ever filled that 
situation. His stylp and manner were quite those of an 

ccomplished idler/' ^ 

From the Anecdote-book of Lord Fldon, 

"I went with Mr, Pitt^ not long before his death, 
from Eoehanipton to Windsor. Among much eonver- 

^ Already publiehed; in a note to the Malmcsbtiry Diaries^ vol iv 
p. 347. 




I aation ^ipon Tarious subjects, I observed to liirn that his 
statioii ill life must have given Mm bett-er opportuiiitieg 
of knowing men than almost, any other person could 

I possess ; and I asked whetlier his intercourse with them, 
upon the whole, led him to think that Ihe greater })art 
of them were governed hj reasonably honourable prin- 
ciples or by corrupt motives. His answer wa.s, that he 
had _a favourable o|iinion of manEn2 n^n the whole, 
^d thatjio- believed that the majori^ waal-eally actu- 
atedXy fair meaning and intentioiL"'* '^^ 


» Twiie's Life of Lord Mdon, vol. i. p. 498. 



Chap. XLIII 


1805 — 1806. 

Mission of Lord Harrowby to Berlin — Pitt at Buth — His criticism 
upoti Lord Blulgraye s and Mr. Canning's Poeuifi on the Victorj of 
Trafalgar — NapoleoQ in Vienna — Battle of Ansterlitz — Treaty of 
Preaburg — Effect of the inttilligence on Pitt — Anxiety of lila 
friends — His illness at Putney — His last letter^ His interview 
with Lord Wellealey^ and big opinion of Sir Arthur — Notes of the 
Hon. James Hamilton Stanhope — Narrative of Hie Bishop of Lin- 
coln — Death of Pitt. 

The victory at Trafalgar seems to have given to the 
British public and to Ktt himself better hopes of the 
war in Germany. Wholly unconiiected as were these 
two transactions, it is not surprising that men flushed 
with a great triumph at sea should not so readily 
despair of some similar success by land It was thought 
that the events at Ulm would be soon retrieved. It 
was thought that the remains of the Austrian armies 
combining with the Kussian would prove an overmatch 
to the French. It was thought tljat the King of 
Prussia, weary of his long wavering, would at last 
take part with Austria, and tlu^ow his sword into the 

The accession of the Cabinet of Berlin to one or 
other of the contending parties was, indeed, felt by 
both as a poiot of most vital importance. Napoleon 



had lured it for some months past hj the promise of 
Hanover. Pitt had endeavoured to arouse it by urginjic 
the dangers which impended to the independence of 
Germany and to its own. He aleo made the most 
hbeml offers of subsidy if Prussia shonld be induced to 
join the cause of the Allies, To give the greater weight 
to his representations and his ofiei-s, he determined to 
send out a member of Ms own Cabinet, who had re- 
cently filled the office of Secretary for Foreio^n Afiliirs, 
This WHS Lord Harrowby, who was accordingly induced 
to imdertake a special mission to Berlin, attended 
by Mr. Hammond, Under Secretary at the Foreign 

Meanwhile Mi\ Pitt was nmch pressed by his physi- 
cians to mrtke a jom-ney to Bath, and he also hoped 
to find time for one or two short visits to his fi-iends. 

Mr, Pitt to Lord Cdrringtmi. 

" Downing Street, Nov. 19, 1805. 

**Dear Cabkington, 

" I should be most happy to be able now to fix a 
time for coming to you at "W^ycumbe ; but I may pro- 
bably be kept al! this week in daily expectation of 
hearing from Harrowby. As soon as I have done \^ 
(if the accounts are such as to admit of it), I mean to 
run down for a fortnight to Bath j and perhaps to 
repeat my visit there before Christmas, after coming 
back to town for a few days. All tliisj however, must 
depend a good deal on intermediate events. If you 



Chap. XLIII, 

pass the Cliristmas Lolidays at Wycombe, I hope to 
find two or tliree days lor coming to you there. 

** Ever sincerely yours, 

«W. Pitt." 

Pitt^ howeyer, appears to have remained in London 
all through the month of November, During this time 
he made his preparations as best he could for the 
coming Parliamentary campaign. He decided to take 
into li'iB Cabinet both Canning and Charles Yorke, thus' 
strengthening his front rank by a large accession of 
oratorical ability. His intention was not as yet made 
public, but Canning told it in confidence to Lord 
Malmesbury, in whose journal it will be found recorded, 

Mr. Charles Yorke was to Imve the Board of Control, 
which, as we have seen. Lord Castlereagh continued to 
hold as a temporar}^ arrangement m conjunction with 
the War and Colonics ; but there wslb to be no clmnge 
as to the office already held by Mr. Canning.^ The 
subject is referred to by himself in tlie letter which 
follows : 

Mk Canning to Mr, Pitt 

** South Hill, Nov. 27, 1805. 

" You wiU always find me here, I hope you wiE not 
suffer yom Bath journey to he deferred till it is too late 
to do yon much good. . . . 

"Could not you manage before you leave town to 
prepare the way for the actual accomplishment of the 

1 Coraporo on tljeae points Lord Malmesbtiry'a Diary (vol. i?* p. 343; 
wiUi Mr. Rose's (vaL ii. p. 249). 




business whicli was settled when last I saw you ? I aak 
froiD no idle wish to have the thing hastened, or noto- 
rious ; but aSj ^vhen you now go, you will probably go 
to stay as long as you can, and as the time to elapse 
before the meeting of Parliament, even at the most 
distant eupposablo date, is not more than enough, I 
shall be anxious to have as mtieh of it as is possible, to 
look with my own eyes at all that has been doing — at 
least from the time of the beginning of Levedon's 
mission— which (espedally in Hammond's absence) I 
cannot do comfortably and to my full satisfaction by 
sLiflerance, and while yon are away still less. 

" Ever most affectiouately yours. 

Notwithstanding the strong wish which Canning here 
expresses, the formal arrangement was postponed by 
Pitt until the Session should be close at hand, 

I may take this opportunity to notice that the 
letters of Canning to Pitt, as preserved among the Pitt 
manuscripts, always commence in this manner ab- 
ruptly, neither with "My dear Pitt," nor yet "My dear 
Sir," Canning probably thought the &"st too familiar, 
and the last to^^ formal 

It was not till the 7th of December that Pitt was 
enabled to proceed to BatK There he stayed upwards 
of a month. There he received visits from several of 
his friends who went down to see him. Such were 
Lord Hawkesbury, Lord Mulgrave, and Lord Melville. 
The latter \^sit appears to have given great umbrage 
to Lord Sidmoutk *'I hear," so i^Tites Fox in his 



Chap. XLUL 

Correspoudence, ** the^ Boetor talks of it with uplifted 
eyes, and says he cauDot beheve it." * 

Even amidst the failure of health and the gravest 
oares of state^ we find Pitt still appealed to by hia 
friendB on merely poetical questions. Lord Mulgrave 
had coinposed an ode on the victory of Trafalgar. He 
brought it down with him to Bath, and insisted on 
obtaining the corrections of his chief. Here is his 
letter, after some of these revisbg touches. But I 
shall insert only one stamia of the poem. 

Lord Mulgrave to Mr. Pitt, 
'' Deae Pitt, ** Bath, Dec. 12, 1805. 

" Dr, Calcott wants to have my song, and I want 
to get rid of it You must therefore, as PrcEceptor 
3Iusarum^ make your election (choice there may be 
none) from the following verses to replace those which, 
to use the Eton phrase, you have marked : — 


" Th' ill-fated captures from their anchors torn 
Part sink, part perish^ on Iberia's shores ; | 

In scattered fragments lorid the hostile shores; j 
Whilst on the angry waves triumphant honie 
No British wrecks the victor fleet deplores," 

"Your criticism has driven wreck into the plural 

"It is a strong proof of distance from Downing Street 

* Letter to Lord Lauderdale, Dec. 17, 1805. 




when I send you so long a despateli for a song; but 
after all your goodness about it, 1 had not resolution to 
send it uW witbout youi* sanction, or at least alluwanee. 

" Ever yours, 


In a biographieal work by one of Lord Mulgrave's 
sons, it is alleged that llr, Pitt, on seeing tliis odo, found 
the fault that no mention was made in it of Admiral 
CoUingAvooA He regretted this the more, considering 
the humanity which Colli ngwood had shown in his 
efforts to saye the drowning prisoners ; and, taking up 
bis pen, he is said to have added a Btanza of his own as 
follows : — 

** With Nelson joined, and sacred to renown, 
Time ehall record the second of that day, 
A\ ho to the glory of his Sovereign's Oro%vn 
Secured the lustre of its brightest ray," " 

I must observe, however, that although the author- 
ship of Pitt on this occasion is stated in very positive 
tenns, no proof or corroboration of it^ as through his 
handwriting, is adduced. 

The battle of Trafalgar inspired also a much liigher 
Muse than Lord BInlgrave's — the Jfuse of Mr. Canning. 
That gifted man wrote a poem of eonsiderable beauty on 
that great event I shall give the commencement only, 
transcribing it from the final copy in his own hand- 
\\Titing, wliich Mr. Canning afterwards presented to 
Lady Hester Stanhope :— 

3 Memoirs of R, P. Ward, Esq., by the Hon. Edmund Pbipps, toI i. 
p, 17 1 » eti 1S5D. 



Chap. XLIIL 

Line^ on Trafalgar, 

** While AuBtna*s yielded armies, vainly brave, 

Moved, in sad pomp, by Danube's blood-stained wave, 
Aloft, where C'Ira*s proud tow'rs overlook the flood, 
Midst captive Chiefs the insulting Yictor stood ; 
AVith mock regret war's :ftital chance deplored. 
And shamed with taunts the triiimphis of his sword* 
Then as the mounting fuiy^ fired his brain, 
Blind with rash hopOi of fancied conquests vain, 
In rage of hate, and insolence of power, 
(O ! luckless boast and most ill-chosen hour !) 
O'er England's seas his new dominion plann*d, 
While the red bolt yet flam'd in Iselson'a hand/* 

Now on these lines, ere yet finally corrected, Mr. 
Canning addressed a long letter to Mr, Pitt at Bath, 
soliciting his comisel, line by line, and almost word by 
word. Of these inquiries I shall give that part, only 
which refers to the few lines I have already cited :— 

3Ir. Canning to Mr, Pitt. 

" South Hill, Dec. 27, 1805. 

**I send yoii the verses written ont on a sheet of, 
paper about the bigness of the Bellman's— who, I su| 
pose, has by this time added a copy to your collection. 

" If the news from the Continent lias not reached 
you, you will perhaps have time to consider the varioE 

*' Line 1st. ' yielded' armies. I am mightily pleased 
myself with this \>'ord. But there is a very good rule of ^ 
an old tutor of Magdalen : * When you find anytliing 
in your own composition that pleases you particularly, 
the safest way is t^ strike it out.' However, I leave it 
to be judged of by others. Its merit is accuracy. Per- 
haps it is too accurate. Pronounce. 




"Lines 1st and 2nd. * brave in yain/ 'vainly brave,' 
&c. The choice must be regulated in some degree by 
the adoption or rejection of the lines in the next para- 
graph, ending with * brain' and * vain.' If they are not 
adopted, I rather think the firat reading the best 

** Line 7th. Here are thre^ forms to choose. As it 
stood before, ' Then in the rage of hate and pride of 
power,' * pride' is objectionable. It occurs too often 
already ; and, as applied to Bonaparte, twice at the end 
of lines in the course of the next ten couplets. 

" And I doubt wdiether ' blind to the fates,' &c,, 
simply, unlesa blind by some fault and presiunption of 
his own, is saying anything. Who is not m? And 

" I am again here, depending upon hearing the news 
from you. 

" I hope you have not forgotten to write upon the 
subject til at we last talked of. I am now impatient, 
which you will do me the justice to recollect I have not 
been till time became a matter of consequence. 

" I hope you have, above all thingSj continued to get 

^^^^^' " Ever affectionately yours, 

** a c." 

During tills time the Emperor Napoleon in Germany 
was pursuing his victorious career. From Uhn he had 
marched to Munich, and reinstated tJie Elector of Ba- 
varia, liis ally. Still driving the Austrian ti^oopa before 
them, and advancing along the southern bank of the 
Danube, his vanguard entered Vienna on the 13th of 
November ; while he took up his quarters in the neigh- 
bouring pahice of Sehonbrunn. The apartments in 
which he sojourned^ then and in 1809, are stiU shown; 



Chap. XLIII. 

tbejr are the same in which, at another period, his son 

On their part, the retreatinjs^ Austrian forces took the 
direction uf Olmiitz, and effi-*eted a junction with their 
advancing Eiissian allicsJ. But Napoleon left them 
little leisure to consolidate their strength. He followed 
them into Moravia, and gave them battle on the 2nd of 
December, the anniversary of his Coronation at Notre 
Dame, The action has derived its name from the ad- 
jacent town of Austerlitz, The Germans have also 
called it die KaiMr-scMacht, or the battle of the Em- 
perors, since, besides Napoleon, Francis and Alexander 
were present in the field. Among the French, on the 
other hand, the phrase U Sohil d^AmterUtz, as first used 
by Napoleon, grew to be proverbial See how Beranger, 
for example, has applied it to that army so often vic- 
torious 1— 

** Et s'elancant du sol des Fyramides 
Pour voir briller le soleil d'Austerlitz." 

For at Austerlitz the sun, till then thieldy veiled in 
mist, of a sudden burst forth with more than wintry 
lustre, and east its imclouded beams on the great scene 
of human strife. Before that sun had set, the Anstrians 
and the Russians were scattered far and ivide, leaving 
behind them fifteen thousand killed or wounded, twentj^ 
thousand prisoners, and one hundred and eighty pieces 
of cannon. This victory may perhaps indeed be re- 
garded as the most splendid among 'the many that 
Napoleon gained* It decided not only the day but the 
campaign, and not only the campaign but the wan 





The Emperor of Austria at once sued for peace, and 
was obliged to Biake considenible saerifioes before 1ib 
eoiild obtain eveo a cessation of liostilitios* Finally at 
Presburg, on the 25th of December, he concluded a 
treaty according to the hard terras which the victor 
enjoined ; yielding Tyrol to the Electorate of Bararia, 
and Venice to the Kingdom of Italy. Russia soon fol- 
lowed in the wake of its ally, and the new Coalition was 
utterly rent asunder. 

The ill success of the war in Germany was of course 
a powerful lever to the English Opposition. Both Lord 
Grenville and Fox had determined to press the Minister 
with the utmost keenness from the first hour that Par- 
liament met. Lord Sidmonth, though professing gi'eater 
moileration in his future course, was not at all more 
favourable to the recent policy of Pitt " It will appear, 
I believe," so he writes even before the news of Auster- 
litz, " that Government has been both precipitate and 
remiss.'* * These two, I may observe in passing, were 
very convenient, because almost contradictory, epithets 
to urge. Any specific accusation that wouhl not fit into 
the first basket would be quite sure to finil a place in 
the second. 

On the other hand, as we have seen, Mr. Pitt was 
taking measures to give strength to his Cabinet in the 
House of Commons. A question of some interest may 
thence arise. If against such adversaries, and with such 
support, in January, 1806, Mr. Pitt had been able to 
meet Parliament in moderately good health, would his 

\ Letter to Mr. Bragge Batliurat, Dec. 7^ 1805, 



Chap, XLIH. 

admmistration have stood? For my part, I am of 
opiDion tliat it would. There were tbei^versL-s of TJlin 
and Aiisterlitz to urge, but to set against these the 
triuinph of Trafalgar. The latter had been achieved 
by our own prowess ; the first, after all, could only be 
imputetl to the fault or to the fortune of our allies. The 
question as to Mr, Pitt was really whether a close con* 
cert between England^ Russia, and Austria, did or did 
not afford a reasonable prosjDect of prevailing against 
France. If there was that reasonable prospect, ]\Ir, 
Pitt was not open to blame for concluding the alliance ; 
and no vote of censure on that account could be, with 
any show of justice, pressed against him. 

Moreover, setting aside for a moment reasons and 
causes, the English people at large could not fail to 
observe, as the ultimate result up to that time of Pitt's 
administration, that their insular security was increased. 
The project of a descent upon Kent or Sussex — a pro- 
ject still so rife in July, 1805 — was in tlie January fol- 
lowing altogether laid aside ; and surely even the bravest 
men might deem tliis no mean advantage. We might 
be confident of repelling the invaders, and yet much 
prefer to have no invasion at all. 

Looking to the temper of tlie times, it further seems 
to me that the more Mr, Fox or Lord Grenville or Lord 
Sidmouth had increased in vehemence, the more likely 
were they to lose in numbers. The popularity of Mr. 
Pitt had certainly in some degree declined, but I see 
no reason to doubt that it was still both deep-rooted 
and extensive. 

It may be urged upon the other side, that several of 




Pitt's colleagues at this time were deficient in Pai'lia- 
mentary eloquence and administrative vigour. But on 
this poiut it is well to weigh the opinion of Fox — an 
opinion expressed with too much bluntness, and indeed 
unfairness, as regards certain individuals, but still 
marked by hia usual practical sagacity. Thus did Fox 
write to a friend in July, 1805; — "Upon the whole, I 
consider matters in the best possible train, and yet it 
does sometimes come across mo — and I wish others 
would not quite forget it — that the Ministry with which 
this very Pitt set out in the year '84 was in all respects 
as weak and contemptible as the present." * 

For these among several other reasons, I believe that 
if the health of Mr. Pitt had been sustained in ISOG, 
his Ministry would not have been subverted; but the 
continuance of his health was an indispensable condi- 
tion, and that condition^ as will presently be seen, was 
not fulfilled. 

The defeat at Austerlitz was indeed a most grievous 
blow to the English Prime Minister. It was the greater 
since, as it chiinced, the first accounts from Sforavia 
had annoimced a victory on the part of the Allies, As 
such the tidings hatl been laid before the King.** As 
such they drew oongratnlaticms from Mr. Huskisson, 
even in the same letter which states and which deplores 
the financial pressure of the war. 


^ Coireflpondenco, vol, iv, p. S9* 
* Letter* printed in my Ap- 
pendix, from Goh Taykr to Lord 
Caatlereagli, dated Dec. 20, 180,i. 
See ako a passage in M. Tliier^'a 

History, vol. vii. p. 432. It was 
eaid tliat Napoleon had lor^t 
twenty-^aeven thouiiand men and 
M& entire artillery. 



CII4P. xini. 

Mr. Muskm&n to Mr, Pitt, 

•* Ti-easuiy Cliambers, Dec. 19, 1805. 
" My deae Sir, 

*^ Sir Franeifi Baring called here to-day to men- 
tion that, immediately after leaving you on the 5th 
instimt, he wrote to Amsterdam by a safe opportunity 
to hint to Hope what was in contemplation. He has 
tills day received an answer to his letter, in which Hope 
informs him that, before the receipt of the communica- 
tion, they had sent an agent, via Paris, to Madrid, on 
some arrangements ccamected with the licences they 
now hold, but that they would send after him to desire 
lie would do nothing respecting them, and that he 
would prepare the way for the further transaction, 
without, however, committing himseK to anytliing 
without further dii-ections, Tliey are, therefore, very 
pressing for a decision. I am sorrj^ t^ add that, not- 
withstanding all oiD' endeavours, and all the specie sent 
in order to avoid any operations of exchange, it comes 
over worse and worse by every mail from the Continent ; 
and if we had now to give orders to draw to any extent, 
it eonld not be done wthoiit a most heavy loss, and 
perhaps not at all ; such is the embarrassment that 
prevails on the Continent since the loss of Vienna. In 
proportion as the exchange falls, silver of course rises. 
It is now 5a, lOd per ounce, which is a rise of 14 per 
cent, on the price before the war. Sir Francis will 
call again on Saturday. I hope the news received 
to-day is sufficiently authentic to justify my congratu- 
lating you on the favourable prospect it opens, both to 
those who are, and to those who, I now trust, soon will 
be engaged in the war. 

" I remaiUj my dear Sir, &c.» 





It is no wonder if, after the tidings and the hopes of 
a victory in Moravia, wlxich were conveyed to Mr. Pitt, 
the sndden shock of the contrary intelligence proved 
too much for his enfc?ebled frame, I shall liere insert 
the statement on this point which was put in writini^ 
by my father, and which seems to have been derived 
from the domestics in immediate attendance npon 
Mr. Pitt at Bath, 

Notes on Mr. Pitt 

*' The immediate cause of his death was the battle of 
Austerlitz, I dined with him the day before his depar- 
ture for Bath, when I found him in his usual spirits ; 
and on inquiriug after his health, I learnt from those 
about him that he had some flying gout, which it was 
hoped might become a regular fit. Such was, indeed, 
the effect of the Bath waters ; but after he received the 
despatches containing the account of that most disas- 
trous battle, he desired a map to be brought to him and 
to be left alone. His reficctions were so painful that 
the gout waa repelled, and attacked some vital organ." 

Exactly to tlie same effect is the statement by Mr. 
Rose. "The waters there [at Bath] almost immediately 
tlirew the gout into his riglit foot, and soon after into 
the left ; but on receiving the account of the armistice 
after Austerlitz the gout quitted the extremities, and 
he fell into a debility which continually iucreELsed.*' 

Such was the effect of these causes combined on 
Mr. Pitt, that, as Lord Maeaulay states it, though 
perhaps a little too strongly^ *' ten days later he was so 
emaciated that his most intimate friends hardly knew 



Chap. XLIIL 

It was not, let me observe, that the high coiirage of 
Pitt had even for a moment quailed. Had his liodily 
strength but endured, he would have borne up against 
Aujsterlitz with the same unconquerable energy of soul 
as be had against many other disasters and reverses in 
the war, kSuch is also the opinion of an aceompbshed 
critic whom I have more than once already cited: 
" The period was one of unusual care and anxiety, but 
Mr. Pitt's mind unquestionably possessed sufficient 
energy to bear the weight if liis body had not been 
undermined by physical causes." ' 

Wilberforce often described with great feeling 
the care-worn and unhappy aspect of Pitt during the 
last months of his life, and Wilberforce was wont to 
call it "the Austerlitz look.** The expression was 
striking and well chosen, but not exactly accurate, since 
Wilberforce never once saw Pitt after the battle of 
Austerlitz was fought 

A letter of Mr. Canning just after the evil news will 
show how anxiously the Prime Minister, in his commu- 
nications to his friends, had endeavoured to cling to 
what remnants of hope remained. 

Mr, Canning to 3fr. Pitt 

" Somerset House, Dec. 31, 1805. 
" I must thank you for your letter, wliich I have just 
received from South Hill, though I am vexed that you 
had the trouble of exiting it. In town T have not col- 
lected any other cLreumstanees than those which you 

Edinburgli Eeyiew, January, 1858, p. 170. 




jioint out, to jiLstify a disbelief of so formal and parti- 
cular a statement, 

"And what I recollect of the last despatch froDi 
Leveson, which I saw at Bath, tends to make the 
Emperor of Austria's part of the transaction appear too 
credible. But it is possible (is it not ?) that the armis- 
tice may be true, and yet the game not entirely up. 
Enssia is no party. \Miy should the Emperor of Bussia 
withdraw? The reason which he is made to give, 
' that he came to assist the Emperor of Austria,* is not 
sufficient. He has also a treaty with Prussia. I have 
not Ix'en very sanguine about Prussia, Yet the utter 
and ridiculous disgrace with which she must be covered 
if she does absolutely nothing, is a gi*ound for lioping 
that if Russia does not give way, thurc may yet be an 
effort made to prevent Bonaparte from returning Em- 
peror of the West. 

" But still the €*xtent of provisional cession by Austria 

almost more than one can conceive any degree of 

'defeat to have extorted. And the Archduke Charles** 

anny— what is become of it? And all the Berlin 

accounts of the 10th and 11th, how are they to be 

accounted for ? 

*'In this painful uncertainty, I shall nevertheless 
return to South Hill to-morrow. I hate to walk the 
streets in such ill news. « Ever yoursj 

** G. C." 

Here follow two letters from Mr. Pitt himself at tliis 
trying juncture* The one is preserved at Melville 
[^Castle, and endorsed as follows, in Lord Melville's 
band : '^ Mr. Pitt ; the last note I ever received from 
him ;' Lord Melville being then with Pitt at Bath. 
The other is addressed to Lord Castlereagh, 



Chap, XLIIL 

Mr. Pitt to Lord Melville, 

♦* Friday, Jan. 3, 1806, 1 p.m. 
** I am Borry to tell you that the Mails arrived from 
Berlin confirm the account of the armistice and the 
retreat of the Euasian troops. 

" It is the more provokingj because subsequent to the 
action the allied army is stated to have been still 85,000 
strong. Nothing is said of the Archduke Charles* 

*' {Secret.) 

" The last despatch from Berlin is on tlie 18th. The 
Grand Duke Constantine had arrived with an offer to 
let all the Eussian force join the Prussians* 

**Harrowby had not been able to see Hardenberg 
subsequently, and the line of Prussia did not seem 
decided. However, little reliance can be placed on that 
quarter. '* Ever yours, 

"W. R" 
Mr, Pitt to Lord Cmtlereagh 

"■ Bath, Monday, Jan. 6, 1806." 
"Deak Castlereagh, 

"I return the box which I received this morn- 
ing. I agree very much with you that, in the uncer- 

• This letter baa been publiahed 
in the Cafitlereagh CorreE3pondent:e 
Tf^'ith the date of '*Ejjtb, Moiidtty, 
December G, 1 805." No doubt tbo 
Editor wsifl jtialilled by a slip of 
the peu in Pitt, who, as in the next 
foUowiug letttr, wrote " Dec/' for 
" Jan.** But (besides tJie internal 
eTidence of the last paragraph, 
wbicb of itaeU is dtjcisivo of tb« 
question) obseive that the date as 
publish ed is self contradic tory , »l nee 
the 6th of Decembei in that year 

fell upon a Friday. Secondly, it is 
quite cltar thut thtj letter is in reply 
to one from Lord Castlereagb, duted 
January 5, 1806, and sent by mes- 
Beuger ; which laat letter is to be 
found in the same published Cor- 
respondi^Dce, although tho Editor 
lias failed to obaorve the close 
connexion between the two. See 
the Caatlexeagli Letters and De- 
spatches, vol vi. pp. G9 and 103, 
ed, 1S5L 




tainty of wlaat may be the ultimate line of Prussia, it 
Diay perhaps not be to be regretted it" Lord Cathcart 
should have directed the last division of oiir troops to 
return without landing* But, as far as I can trace, 
Lord Cathcart, when he wrote, had received only Lord 
Harrowhy's despati'h, written while the aoswer of 
Prussia was evasive. He will soon after have received 
that of the 23rd, announcing tlie positive assurance of 
security for our tr^jops, on their observing the conditions 
specified, which are not unreasouable. Under these 
circnmstances* I incline to thiuk he wUl uot have sent 
back any of the troops ; and, if so, I confess I do not 
see how we can, in our instructions, make any distinc- 
tion between the first and last divisions. 

"The reasoning which yon state in yonr letter for 
our consenting to let the former remain for the present, 
appears to me (under the general assurance now given 
by Berlin) to apply with equal force, and almost unan- 
swerablVj to the latter, I certainly leel a strong desire 
to see 60 valuable a body of troops at home ; but 1 do 
not think the difference, at any rate, will be more than 
between the present time, and early enough in the 
spring for any defensive purpose here. By bringing 
them away now, I fear we should Imrdly give a fair 
chance to the good disposition of Pnissia, if any such 
really exist. Whenever the troops must come away, I 
think the arrangement you propose respecting the 
Hanoverians is most judicious, and I am very glad it is 
approYed. It hardly seems to me that wo are yet ripe 
to send any fresh instructions to Craig, 

" My second attack of gout is now subsiding, and I 
hope to recover from it quicker than the former ; but I 
am sorry to say that I have more ground to gain, before 
I am fit for anything, than I can almost hope to accom- 



Chak . 

plish witliiu a fortnigbt, Bath is no longer thonght of 
use, and I sliall move as aoon as I can. 

" Ever yours, 

** Pray have the goodness to mention what I Lave 
stated rcBpecting the return of our troops. Whatever 
you and they, on considerationj decide, I shall be satis- 
fied mth." 

Two days afterwards Mr. Pitt wrote his last letter, as it 
proved, to my father* It bears date Bath, Dec* 8^ 1806 ; 
for in this letter, as in the last preceding, he put 
" Dec,'* for ** Jan." by a slip of the pen. He thus begins : 

**Dear Mahon, 

'*! am grieved that a load of business, much 
beyond what I am equal to in my invahd state, has so 
long delayed my retm^ning the papers you sent me. 
Kichards's opinion is very satisfaetf^ry, and if it were 
not for one circumstance, would, I think, be conclusive." 

Mn Pitt then proceeds to offer a kind and excellent 
practical suggestion on a matter of legal business, which 
was of great anxiety to his correspondent, but which 
would be of no interest to the public. And he thus 
concludes : — 

" But you must be aware that not having before me 
the drafts as they had been proposed, I can judge but 
imperfectly ; and if, putting all circumstances together, 
you liave reason to think the answer means only 
evasion and delay, it woukl certainly be right to have 
recourse at once to the Bill, I sUite this, therefore, 
rather for your consideration than as any fixed opinion, 
" Ever affectionately yours, 





Diirmg the last ten days of Ids resiclenee at Bath 
Mr, Pitt was joixied by Ids attached friend and physician 
Sir Walter Farqnhar. He had also Mr. Charles Stanhope 
with him at that time. The meeting of Parhament had 
been fixed for the 21st of January, and on the 9th he 
set out with Bir Walter and Charles Stanhope on liia 
journey homeward. On the day before, ho had a part- 
ing conversation with Lord Melville. Then — so a year 
afterwards Lord Melville wrote it to Lord Eldon — " he 
emphatically said i * I wish the King may not live to 
repent, and sooner than he thinks, the rejection of the 
advice which I pressed on him at Weymouth/ " 

So mnch on leaving Bath was tlie strength of Pitt 
reduced, that it took him three days to reach his villa at 
Putney. On seeing him again. Lady Hester Stanhope was 
greatly shocked at his wasted appearance and hollow 
tone of voice. There is a little incident of him at 
that period which has often been related, but with some 
variations as to time or place, and therefore perhaps not 
derived from any direct authority. It is said that on 
leaving his carriage, and as he passed along the passage 
to his bedroom, he observed a map of Europe which had 
been drawn down from the wall ; uix)n which he turned i 
to his niece and mournfully said^ " Roll up that map ; 
it will not be wanted these ten years.*' 

Some letters of this period will show how great waa 
now the anxiety of his friends, and how warmly they 
pressed their hospitable care. 




Chap. XLIH. 

Lord EaivkeEbury to Mr. Pitt, 

" Dear Pitt, " ^\liiteLalJ, Jan. 7, 1806, 

*' I have just beard that, in consequence of the 
gout having settled in your other foot, it has been 
thought most advisable that you should leave Bath. I 
wish I could persuade you to €Offi,e directly to Coombe : 
you will be there not only in a good air, but you will 
find a particularly warm house. You will be sufficiently 
near London for any person to come down to yon on 
busineBs, and at the same time free irom the interrup- 
tion and worry to which you would be unavoidably 
exposed in London. I trust, therefore, that yon will 
not have the least scruple of agreeing to my proposal, 
and of going there directly from Bath, if that should be 
most convenient. You will find tlie house ready, and 
wtU aired. 

'* Castlereagh will have informed you of the general 
purport of our conversations with respect to the British 
troops on the Continent : I tnist we shall soon hear of 
the return of those who were last embarked. It is 
most fortunate that the weather is so tairourable ae to 
render it scarcely probable that any of the transports 
sliould l>e locked up by ice. How lucky it would be if 
we could now hear of a successful attack upon Cartha- 
gena ! Pray turn the qnestion of iSieily in yom* mini 
I confess I think no time should be lost in giving Craig 
some new discretionary instructions. If we should be 
forced to negotiate, consider the great advantage we 
should have in discussing the question of Malta with 
Sicily in our possession. 

" Believe me to be, dear Pitt, &c., 

*' Hawkesbdby.'* 





Harl Camden to Mr, Pitt. 

" Dear Pitt, " Arlington Street, Jan. 8, 1806. 

** I am sorry to hear from Lord Bathnrst tliat. 
though you are recovering from your second fit of the 
gout, you do not feel that your strength is restored, and 
that you feel not very confident that you will be able 
to undergo the fatigue of attendiog Parliament at first. 
You wiU hear from others of the Cabinet on the 
subject ; but I wish at the same time to suggest to you 
my own opinion, as well as that of our colleagues, that 
if Parhament cannot be postponed for such a period as 
shall make it quite certain you can attend — which I 
unden?ta,Dd to he the case — it is much bett^^r it shmdd 
meet, and that you should not att'Crapt to attend it. It 
is impossible that Opposition can press the discussion of 
the affairs on the Continent in yom* absence, and if 
they attempt it we ought to be obh'gcd to them ; and 
the common routine of business can go on in both 
Houses during your convalescence, and we will endea- 
vour, with as fefw references as possible, to keep the 
machine moving on. 

" I therefore see no difficulty to your considering that 
you have several weeks before it is necessary to exert 
yourself; and I have no doubt, from all I hear, you wdll 
be likely to recover long before, on public accounts, it 
is necessary. 

*' Lord Hawkesbury informs me that, instead of going 
to Salthill, which has been recommended to you, you 
should go to Coombe Wood, as your owti house is 
somewhat damp. 

** It occurred to Lord Chatham and me that if you 
liked to go to Long's, it might be prepared, though 
Coombe appears to be very desirable ; and I beg to 
offer yoTi Wilderness, which is perfectly well aired, if it 



CuAP. XLIir. 

is Bot too distant. I tnist it is iiBiiecessaiy to say ho^ 
mufli it is at yoiii* service, and that it cannot be the"' 
slightest inconvenience to me that you should go there. 
My family will remove in less than a week, 

" Most tnily and sincerely yours, 

'* Camden," 

ilfr. Canning to Mr. Pitt, 

** South Hill, Jan. 9, X806, 

" The wish which you express in your letter of 
yesterday (which I have this moment received) talliess 
so exactly with my proposal to Charles,^ that I hope 
nothing will prevent your putting them into execution- 
I write a line to Sir Walter to enter into a solemn 
engagement with him not to talk with you or (so far as 
I can help it) allow yon to talk upon interesting sub- 
jects, till you are fitter for it than you represent your- 
self to be, 

"You shall have south rooms entirely to yourself, 
and see as little or as Tuneh of us as you please. 

" And we have room for Charles and for Lady Hester, 
and for Sir Walter as long as he chooses to stay, or 
whenever he chooses to come back to you ; and more- 
over, for Sturges, or Huskisson^ or Castlereagh, or any- 
body else whom you may wish to see, whenever it is 
fit that you should see them, 

"So pray come, and stay till you are better able to 
bear the neighbourhood of tow^n. I trust Parliament 
can be put off. *. q^^ yegg y^^^ 


*^I need not tell you how anxiously Mrs. C. joins in 
my request." 

* Hon. Charlea Stanhope. 




Mr, Sturffes Bourne to 3Ir, Bom. 
**Dear Kose, •* Sunday, Jan. 12, 1806* 

** Mr. Pitt arrived at Putney last night, having 
[ accomplisbed his journey with less fatigue than might 
, have been expected ; and I have been with him this 
morning by his own desire. His appearance was not 
I worse than I expected, though it seems to have struck 
I Lady Hester very much. Ue thinks himself, however, 
I better, particularly in the article of sleep. He is, how- 
ever, very, veiy weak, and has a horror of all animal food. 
You will derive some comffjrt from knowing that Dr. 
Eeynolds and Dr. Baillie were waiting to see him when 
I came away. ^AHien he may expect to be able to at- 
tend to business and Parliament we must learn from 
them. He thinks of going to the Wilderness, which 
I Lord Camden has oiiered him, and where he will be 

\ more out of the way of interruption 

" Yours ever, most truly, 

Pitt himself was not despondent, nor at all aware of 
the coming danger. His early friend Lord Wellesley 
had just anived from India, and had written to him at 
Bath. To that communication Pitt replied as follows. 
It is, so far as I can trace, the last letter that he ever 

" Putney Hill, Sunday, Jan. 12, 1806. 
**My dear Wellesley, 

" On my arrival here last night, I received, \*ith 
inexpressible pleasure, yonr most friendly and affec- 
tionate letter. If I was not strongly advised to keep 
out of London tiH I have acquii^ed a little more strength. 




I would have come up imraediately for the purpose of 
seeing you at tlie first possible moment. As it is, I am 
afraid I must trust to your goodness to give me the 
satisfaction of seeiug you here, the first hour you can 
spare for that purjiose* If yon can without iucon- 
venience make it atjout the middle of the day (in English 
style, between two and four), it would suit me rather 
better than any other time ; but none can be iucon- 

" I am recovering rather slowly from a series of ' 
stomach complaints, followed by pevere attacks of gout^ 
but I believe I am now in the way of real amendment. 
** Ever most truly and affectionately yours, 

In the forenoon of Monday the 13th Pitt was able 
to take an airing in his coach, and later in the day he 
received the vi^sit of ids two principal colleagues. Lords 
Hawkesbury and Castlereagh. They had to determine 
with him some business that could no longer be de- 
ferred — the question of recalling tlie British troops from 
the north of Germany. They stayed but a short time, 
and endeavoured to spare Mr. Pitt as much as possible. 
Still he wafl much the worse for their visit, and nejtt 
morning the ill efiect was even more plainly observed. 

Next morning, however, that is on Tuesday the 14th» 
Pitt went out again to drive in his carriage.* It waa 
the last time that he ever left his house. In the after- 

1 TbiiJ lotkr waa first published 
hy Lord WeHealey himself in 1S36. 
(Quarterly Review, Ko. cxiv. p. 

* Diaries of Lord Colchester, 
vol. ii* p, 25. The Speaker derived 
hia informAtioii from Mr. Sturgt^a 



noon bis brother Lord Cbatbam paid bim a visit. That 
day also Lord Wellesley came. The heart of Jlr, Pitt 
glowed with gladness at the first sight of bis dear and 
long absent friend. "His spirits,*' so writes Lord 
Wellesley in his reminiscences of 1836, " appeared to 
be as high as I had ever seen them, and his under- 
standing as vigorous and clear. Amongst other topics 
he told me with great kindness and feeling that since 

Lie bad seen me he had been happy to become aerpiainted 
w^itb my brother Aiiihur, of whom he spoke in Oia 
warmest terms of commendation. He said, 'I never 

Finet any military oSicer with whom it was so satisfactory 
to converse. He states every difficnlty before he nn- 

Idertakes any service, but none after he has imder- 

f taken it/" 

Any man who had the honour to know the Dnke of 

I Wellington will, I am sure, acknowledge liow discrimi- 
nating, bow especially cbaraeteriatic of His Grace's turn 
of mind, was the eulogy which Mr. Pitt here expressed. 
But the excitement of this interview was too great 

[for Pill's enfeebled frame. He fainted away before 
Lord Wellej?ley left the room. This we learn from 

iLord Malmesbnry's journal* Lord Wellesley without 
recording this particular incident proceeds to state the 

, general impression which it left upon him : "Notwith- 
standing Mr. Pitt's kindness and cheerfulness, I saw that 
the hand of death was fixed upon him. This melancholy 
truth was not known or believed by either his friends 
or opponents* • . I warned Lord Grenville of Mr. Pitfs 
approaching death. He received the fatal intelligence 
with the utmost feeling in an agony of tears, and inime- 




diately determined that all hostility in Parliament 
should be suspended." 

Such were not, however, the anticipations of Dr. Baillie 
or Dr. Eeynolds when they saw Mr. Pitt on Sunday the 
12tL They said that the probability was in favour 
of Mr. Pitt's recovery ; and that if his complaint should 
not take an unfavourable turn, he might be able to at- 
tend to business in about a month. 

So early as the Saturday or Siuaday the Bishop of 
Lincoln had arrived at Putney, where he remained in 
constant and close attendance on his early pupil and 
friend. On Wednesday the 15th Jlr. Eose called; 
but by that time the physicians saw and lelt the mischief 
which politie&-l visits, however kindly meant, produced* 
Thus writes Mr. Rose in his journal : — 

"Sir Walter Farquhar^ whom I found in the 
house, said so much on the subject that I positively 
declined going to Mr. Pitt on being requested by liim 
to do so through the Bishop of Lincoln. Mr. Pitt then 
insisted that I should not leave the house till evening, 
and about eight o clock Sir Walter brought me a mes- 
sage to say he was confident the seeing me would do him 
good. I therefore no longer hesitated, but went up to 
his room and found him lying on a sofa, emaciated to a 
degree I could not have conceived. He pressed my 
hand with all the force he could (feebly enough, God 
knows !), and told me earnestly he found himself better 
for having me by the hand. I did not remain with him 
for more than five minutes. The short conversation 
was quite general, as I felt it of importance not to touch 
on any tai)ic that could agitate his mind in the slightest 
degree ; and at ten in the evening I left the house. 

180e. LIFE OP PITT, 377 

His countonance was changed extremely, liis voice 
, weak, and his body abnost wasted, and so iedeed were 
^ his limbs;' 

On the evening of the next day Mr, Kose received a 
[bulletin of health, as follows : — 

The Bkhop of Lincoln to Mr, Hose. 

** Putney Heath, Thnrsday, 9 J p.m. 
"My dear Sir, (Jan. 16.) 

" I will just tell you that Mr. Pitt has continned 
in bed the whole day quiet and composed upon the 
whole, and w^ithoiit any increase of onpleasant symptoms. 
He is going to be removed to his sofa for an horn-. Sir 
Walter's repoit is rather more favourable, I hop« we 
shall see you to-morrow. 

"Ever yours, 

" G, LmooLN," 

"From Thursday the IGth to Sunday the lOth/' con- 
tinues Mr. Eose, " there was no considerable alteration 
in Mr. Pitt* He took no nourishment of any sort except 
occasionally a small cup of broth, wliieh seldom re- 
mained on his stomach; and he hardly spoke at all, 
though BS entirely right in his mind as at any time in 
his life. The very little he did say to his physicians 
and to the Bishop of Lincoln (the only persons except 
servants who saw him) in this interval had not the re- 
motest tendency to anything respecting puhhc affairs.*' ^ 

It appears^ howeveTj from the statement of another 

3 Diaries of Mr. Eoee, toL ii. p. 22i» 



Chap. XLIII. 

writer of good information, that on the Friday Lord 
Chatham also waa admitted to his bedside.* 

But the most authentic and the most important nar- 
rative of IMr, Pitt's last days is to be found in some 
notes drawn up at the time by my uncle, the Hon. 
James Hamilton Stanhope* These notes mil suffi- 
ciently explain themselves ; and it only remains for me 
to state how they came into my hands* James Stan- 
hope presented them tx) our kinsman, the Earl of Har- 
rington. On Lord Harrington's decease they passed 
with other papers to his son-in-law, the Marquis of 
Tavistock, subsequently Duke of Bedford. The Duke 
in November, 1S60, only a few months before his own 
lamented death, most kindly sent me the original 
manuscript, which, until then, 1 had never seen, nor 
even heard mentioned. 

Notes of Mr, Pitt's last illness, 

*'I returned to Downing Street from Norman Cross, 
to which place I had escorted a party of French pri- 
soners, on the night of Lord Nelson's funeral. Mr. Pitt 
was then on his way from Bath to Putney. I heard of 
his being very ill, but had not the slightest idea of the 
fatal event which shortly took place being so near. 

" Among the accounts that I heard, the circumstance 
of Mr. Pitt having lost the *deep tone and wunderfid 
harmony which characterised liL^ voice both in pubhc 
and private, and that it had become feeble and ti^emu- 
lous, alarmed me the most* My sister remained entirely 
at Putney from Mr. Pitt's arrival till the dinner that 

* Set) the Character ioseited In the Annual Register, 180G, p. 882. 




was given at Downing Street preyions to tbe opening 
of Parliament. As he was advised to be kept very qiiietj 
and an interview which he had with Lord Hawkesbury 
was prodiietiTe of considerable evil, I did not go to 
Putney till Sunday the 19th, when I went in the carriage 
with Hester. When we came within three handred 
yards of tbe honse, Mr, Rose stopped the carriage. We 
immediately conceived the most dreadful apprehen- 
siona when we perceived him in tears, and liis mann^^r 
exhibiting marks of the most pctignant grief. He said, 
* I fear there is danger ; ' and 1 beheve the&e were his 
only words. On arriving- at the house we found the 
melanclioly intelligence Init too true, and that appre- 
hensions wore entertained for liis life, owing to a typhus 
fever which had succeeded his state of debihty. On 
the Sunday be, however, took two eggs beaten up, and 
on account of their remaining on his stomach consider- 
able hopes were entertained by Sir W. Farquhar. He 
passed a tolerable night, but on the Monday evening 
[Jan. 20] grew worse. He passed a bad night, and on 
the Tuesday mormng [Jan. 21] was certainly consider- 
ably worse, 

** During these days a great number of people of 
all ranl\S called to inquire after his healtli. IjoM 
Chatham called on Tuesday morning, but by the advice 
of Sir Walter and Doctors Baillie and Ileynolds (who 
had been sent for on the Monday) was not allowed 
to see him. The Dukes of Cambridge and Cumber- 
land, besides Canning, Stnrges, Steele, Rose, &c., called 
on the Tuesday. On Wednesday mornmg [Jan. 22] 
his pulse was at times as high as 130. He was very 
faint, and could not retain any nourishment he took. 
It was then considered necessaiy to acquaint Mn Pitt 
with his danger, wliich the Bishop of Lincoln did at 
about eight on Wednesday morning. Not being present 



Chap. XlJIf. 

myself, I cannot decidedly stat^ the particulars of the 
iBteryiew ; but I understood that the Bishop offered to 
administer the Sacrament, which Mr. Pitt declined, 
alleging his Hnworthiness of receiving it. The Bishop 
prayed with Mr. Pitt for some time by his bed side, 
Mr. Pitt received the intelligence of his own danger 
with unexampled firmness, and expressed to the Bishop 
every sentiment worthy of a real Christian. He then 
stated to the BLshop of Lincoln his last wishes, which I 
need not repeat, from their having already appeared m 
the public prints. Mr. Pitt attempted to wtite himself, 
but was unable. He then dictat^^d to the Bishop, and 
afterwards read what the Bishop had written aloud, and 
signed it in the presence of tliree witnesses, two of whom 
were the Bishop and Sir Walter, the other being his 
own and, faithful footman, Parslow. 

'* After tiiis was concluded, Mr. Pitt begged to be left 
alone, and he remained composed and apparently asleep 
for two or three hours. Doctors Baillie and Beynolds 
arrived about tbree, and gave as their opinion that Mr. 
Pitt could not live above twenty-four hours. Our own 
feelings in losing our only protector, who had reared us 
with more than parental care, I need not attempt to 

" From Wednesday morning I did not leave his room 
except for a few minutes till the time of his death, 
though I did not allow him to see me, as I felt myself 
unequal to the dreadful scene of parting with him, 
and feart^d (although he was given over) that the 
exertion on his part might hasten the dreadful event 
which now appeai^ed inevitable. Hester applied for 
leave to see Iiim, but was refused. Taking, however, 
the opportunity of Sir Walter's being at dinner, she 
went into Mr. Pitt's room. Though even then wander- 
ing a littlOj he immediately recollected her, and with 





his usual angelic miltliiess wished her future happiness, 
and gave her a most eolemu Messing and affoetioDate 
farewell. On her leaving the room I entered it, and 
for some time afterwards Mr, Pitt continued to speak 
of her, and several times repeated, 'Dear sonl, I know 
she loves mel Where is Hester? Is Hester gone?' 
In the evening Sir Walter gave him some champagne, 
in hopes of keeping up for a time his wasting and 
almost subdued strength ; and as Mr. Pitt seemed to 
feel pain in swallowing it, owing to the thrush in his 
throat, Sir Walter said : * I am sorr}^. Sir, to give you 
paia Do not take it unkind/ Mr. Pitt, with that 
mildness which adorned his private life, replied : * I 
never take anything unkind that is meant for my good/ 
At three o'clock on Wednesday Colonel Taylor arrived 
express from His Majesty at Windsor, and returned 
with the melancholy [news] of all hopes having ceased. 
I remained the whole of Wednesday night with Jlr, Pitt. 
His mind seemed fixed on the affairs of the eonntry, 
and he expressed his thoughts alond^ though sometimes 
incoherently. He spoke a good deal concerning a 
private letter from Lord Han-owhy, and frequently in- 
quired the direction of the wind ; then said^ answering 
liimaelfj * East ; ah I that will do ; that will bring him 
quick : * at other times seemed to be in conversation 
with a messenger, and sometimes cried out *Hear, 
hear!' as if in the House of Commons. During the 
time he did not speak he moaned considerably, crying, 
* dear ! Lord ! * Towards twelve the rattles came 
in his throat, and proclaimed approaching dissolution. 
Sir Walter, the Bishop, Charles, and my sister were 
lyiDg down on their beds, overcome with fatigue. At 
one [Jan, 23] a Mr. South an-ived from town in a 
chaise, bringing a vial of hartshorn oil, a spoonful of 
which he insisted on Mr, Pitts taking, as he had 



Chai\ XLIIL 

known it recover people in the last agonies. Remon- 
strance as to its certain inefficacy was useless, and on 
Sir W. saying that it coold be of no detriment, we 
poured a couple of spoonfuls down Mr. Pitt's throat. 
It produced no effect but a little convulsive cough. 
In about luiK an hour Jlr. South returned to town ; at 
about half-past two Mr. Pitt ceased moaning, and did 
not speak or make the slightest, sound for some time, as 
liis extremities were then growing chilly. I feared he 
Wiis dying; but shoi-tly afterwards, with a much clearer 
voice than he spoke in before, and in a tone I never 
' y / shall forget, he exclaimed, * Oh, my country ! how I 
^ love my country 1 ' From that time lie never spoke or 
' moved, and at haK-past four expired vrithout a groan 
or struggle. His strength being quite exhausted, his 
life departed like a candle burning out. I 

" Mr. Pitt during his illness frequently inquired after 
Charles and myself, and during his wauderiogs often 
repeated our names, in the same manner as he did 
Hesters after her leaving the room. At five I left 
Putney for Downing Street in Mr. Pitt's carriage, 
where with Mr, Adams wo sealed up his books and 
papers, &c., &c. I made these minutes on the Sunday 
[January 26], and am therefore certain they are cop- 

^^c*' "James H. Stanhope." 

To this narrative I have only to add the statement 
of what passed when, on the morning of the 22nd, the 
' Bishop of Lincoln and Mr. Pitt were alone together. 
The statement was made by the Bishop not many days 
afterwards to several friends of Mr. Pitt — to one of 
them, indeed, in the course of that very forenoon.* It 

* Diariea of Mr» Eose, vol. ii. p. 
ftnother ut p* 254. 

230. Compare with this pt^issage 




was since dra\yn out — ia a form only perhaps a little 
amplified — by Mt. Gifford for his * Life of Pitt' We 
must therefore regard it, or at least the substance 
of it, as resting on the Bishop*s positiye and direct 

It appears, then, that the Bishop, in Sir Walter Far- 
quhar's presence, went up to Mr. Pitt's bed-side, made 
kno^n to him as gently as he could his state of immi- 
nent danger, and asked his leave to read prayers to 
him and to administer the Sacrament. Mr. Pitt re- 
ceived the tidings with perfect comfMjsure and firmness. 
Turning his head to Sir Walter, who stood on the other 
side of the bed, he said, slowly : ** How long do you 
think I have to live?" Sir Walter replied that he 
could not say, and that perhaps Mr* Pitt might 
recover. Here Sir. Pitt half smiled, as showing that 
he well understood the little weight of such a phrase ; 
and presently Sir Walter left him and the Bisliop 
alone* Of the Sacrament Mr, Pitt said : " that I have 
not strength to go through.'* The Bishop then desired 
to pray with him. The answer of Mr. Pitt was as 
follows : " I have, as I fear is the case ^vith many others, 

J neglected prayer too much to allow me to hope that it 
can be very efficacious now. But " — ^rising in his bed 
as he spoke, and clasping his hands fervently together 
~" I throw myself entirely upon the mercy of God 
II through the merits of Christ." The Bishop then read 
11 prayers, and Mr. Pitt joined in them, his hands clasped, 

mu with much earnestness, 

B' Three weeks afterwards, when the Bishop and 

I Mr. Hose were alone together at Buckden Palace, and 



Chap, XLUI. 

frequently reverted to their ever dear friend, the Bishop 
repeated the same accomitj adding, however, one other 
circumstance, which is nowhere else to be found 
recorded, " I learned," writes Jlr. Bose, " that although 
Jlr. Pitt was too weak to say much, he (when, he spoke 
of hiB neglect of prayer) alluded to the innocency of 
hia life, and expressed a confident hope of the mercy of 
God through the intercession of his Bedeemer; and 
that with great fervour.'** We find, then, that the 
remembrance of the *^ innocency of his bfe" was 
amongst the thoughts that consoled Mr, Pitt in his 
dying hours. 

These religious duties having been performed* the 
Bishop next asked of Sir* Pitt his testamentary injunc- 
tions. ** Although," said the Bishop, **you have no 
property to bequeath, your papers are of importance, 
and you may probably wish to give some directions 
about them/* Mr. Pitt was too weak to write at length, 
but he dictated to the Bishop the gubstance of his 
wishes in three separate schedules, which he afterwards 
signed. They were as follows : — 



** I owe Sir Walter Farquhar one thousand guineas 
from October, 1805, as a professional debt. 

" W. Pitt." 

"12,000?., with interest from October, 1801, to Mr, 
Long, Mr. Steele, Lord Carrington, Bisliop of Lincoln* 
Lord Camden, Mr. Joseph Smith, and I earnestly 

Diary, Sunday, Febnmry i6» 1800. 




request their aeceptancc of it, I wish, if means can 
be found for it, of paying double the wages of all my 
servants who were with me at my decease. 

«W. Pitt;' 

" I wish my brother, with the Bishop of Lincoln, to 
look over my papers, and to settle my affairs. I owe 
more than I con leave behind me. 

«W. PiriV' 

With a most kindly thought for the situation of hia 
three nieces, deprived as they were of a father's care, 
Mr. Pitt moreover expressed a wish tliat a pension of 
1000?. or 1200^. a-year might be settled uiMjn Hester, 
and a pension also upon each of her two siaters. " I am 
far from saying," he added, ^ that my public services 
have earned it, but stUl I hope my wish may be 
complied with/* 

The Bishop, on going back to his own room, found 
there Mr. Eose, whom he had desired to wait for him. 
He told him what had passed with Mr. Pitt both as to 
spiritual and as to worldly concerns ; and he showed 
him the three schedules, with the ink hardly dry ; and 
"I observed," says Mr. Eose, **that tlie signatures 
varied very little from the manner in which Mr. Pitt 
signed his name when in health." 

On the 27th of February following the three Sche- 
dules, as constituting the Will of Mr. Pitt, were proved 
at Doctors' Commons by W» D* Adams, Esq., and 
W. Huskisson, Esq., on behalf of the two Executors, 
Lord Chatham and the Bishop of Lincoln,' 

7 Ann. Register. 1606, p. 383. 

you rv. 


Ch^p. XUV, 



Embarmssment i>f Ministers — Meeting of Parliament — Effect of the 
intelligence of Pitt's death ^ — New administration formed — Votes 
in the lluiitie of Commons — Parliamentary grant for the payment 
of Pitt's debts — Pensions to his nieces — His pnhlic funeral — 
Statues and ]x>rtniita — Pitt 'a character *- Hi a religious principles 

— Goodness to the poor — Neglect of Literatnre anrl the Fine Arts 

— Skfll in claseical versions — Aa a pnhlic speaker — As Minister 
of the Finances — His conduct of the war^ ConduBion, 


It was not till past the middle of January that either 
friendB or foes, for the most part, forehoded the ap- 
proaching end of Mr. Pitt* In general his was thought 
to be only a case of enfeebled health or of slow reco- 
Tery. But after Monday the 13th he had not been 
able to see any of his colleagnes. Even by letter he 
could not be consulted on any point of public business. 
It was clear, on the most sanguine view, that the 
Session must be opened in hia absence, and that three 
or four weeks at the least must elapse before he could 
resume liis place in the House of Commons. 

Under such circumstances the position of the remain- 
ing Ministers was one of great embarrassment and 
difficulty. On Sunday the 19th a meeting was held 
at Lord Castlereagh's, not limited to members of the 
Cabinet, but comprisy^ng also tlie Privy Councillors in 
ofEce. The object was to consider the terms of the 




King'w Speech, It was agreed to render the Speech as 

unexceptionable as it could be, in order to take the 
begt clmiice of unaiainity on the Address. With this 
Tiew some small alterations were made in the draft 
pniposed. The King was to begin by referring to tlie 
decisive success at sea with winch Providence had 
blessed our arms. His Majesty was to commend the 
femily of Lord Nelson to some great mark of national 
munificence. He was to declare that the treaties of 
alliance entered into witli Foreign Powers should be 
forthwith laid before Parhameut, and to lament that 
the events of the war in Germany had so much disap- 
pointed his hopes. But it was to be urged, as a ground 
of consolation, that ** His Majesty continues to receive 
from his august ally the Emperor of Russia the strongest 
assurances of unshaken adherence." The Speech was 
further to announce His Majesty's gift of one million 
sterling (part of his proceeds from the sale of prizes) to 
the public service. 

The customary dinner in Downing Street in honour 
of the Queen's Birthday had been fixed for Saturday 
the 18th. Although the cards were already issued, 
several of Mr, Pitt's friends in office, cousideriug his 
state of health, wished the entertainment to be post- 
poned But Mr. Pitt himself had particularly desired 
that the dinner might take place, ^ and take place 
it did accordingly. It was, indeed, a most mournful 

* Diaries of Lord Colehester, vol. 
I ii. p. 25. It woxald seem from this 
I joiHTial (aiiti it miiy likewise \ki in* 
^ikrred irom JameeBtanliope^s notoa) 

tliftt this dinner waa considered of 
importance. At Pitt's deairo, Ludy 
Heater went up from l\itn«y to 
attend it 


Chap. XLIV. 

meal. The conversation seems to have turned almost 
entirely on the rumours and reports from the sick-room 
at Putney. Canning said : " It was the relapse of a 
single day which reduced Mr. Pitt to the wreck he now 
is." That was the sad day of the Austerlitz despatch. 

On Monday the 20th there was a second official dinner 
in Downing Street, when, in Pitt's absence. Lord Castle- 
reagh read the King's Speech to the assembled guests. 

Meanwhile on the Opposition side an Amendment to 
the Address had been prepared, reflecting on the disas- 
ters of the war in Germany, and imputing them to the 
course of policy in England. The Amendment was to 
be moved in the one House by Lord Henry Petty ; in 
the other by Earl Cowper.^ But the intelligence of 
Pitt's alarming illness wrought a change in this inten- 
tion, and the result may best be told from the Journal 
of Francis* Horner. 

Journal, Jan. 22, 1806. 
"A few hours before going down to Westminster 
there was a meeting at Mr. Fox's house of a few of the 
principal persons of Opposition; Cowper was there. 
Fox stated to them that he thought it impossible they 
could enter into the discussion ; he could not while 
they had the idea that Pitt was in extremities — 
^ mentem mortalia tanguntj he said. Cowper described 
him as appearing to feel very sensibly the calamity of 
his distiDguished rival ; and he described it by saying 
that Fox appeared to feel more than Lord Grenville, 
who was present also." 

' This was Peter Leopold, the 
iifth Earl, born in 1778. In July, 
lSQ5t he had married the daughter 

of Lord Melbourne, the Hon. Emily 
Lamb, now (1861) tlie Yiscountess 




Here, however, Lord Cowper was unjust, though not 
from any fault of \m own. I have already cited the 
statement of Lord Welledey, that Lord Grenville, when 
priTately apprised, some days before, of Mr. Pitt's ap- 
proaching dissolution, was melted to an agony of tears. 
What Lord Cowper saw was therefore the first emotion 
of Mr. Fox, hut not the first emotion of Lord Grenville. 
From this change of plan in the Opposition chiefe, 
there was but little of interest in the first day's pro- 
ceedings. The Parliainent was opened by Commission. 
WTien in botli Houtses the Address had been duly moved 
and seconded, Earl Cowper rose in one place and Lord 
Henry Petty in the other, and read forth the Amend- 
ment w^hich they had designed. They alluded to the 
pei*sonal feelingg from which they had forborne to move 
it ; but they observed that the situation of the coimtry 
would brook no long delay, and they announced that on 
the Monday following they would bring forward the 
same, or nearly the same, words as a sabstautire vote. 
In the Commons Mr, Fox rose next to express his con- 
currence in the course taken by his friends, and also his 
^ indignation at those ill-concerted, ill-conducted, ill- 
supported, and ill-executed plans '* of Ministers. Lord 
Cti^tlereagh and Mr, Windham said each a few words, 
and the House adjourned. 

On Thm'sday the 23rd the Members in due course 
were proceeding, ^vith the Speaker at their head, to St. 
James's, to present to His Majesty the Address which 
they had voted, when they received intelligence that 
Mr. Pitt had expired at an early hour tliat morning. 
Scarce any one among them, perhaps, but was more or 



Chap. XLIV. 

less solenmly impressed, A great pillar of the state 
had fallen, and a Dew phase in politics had begun. 

For near niixeteen years in all JJIr. Pitt had been 
First Lord of the Treasury, and undisputed chief of the 
administration. In stiitiiig thia fact Lord Macaulay has 
well observed, that since Parliament^iiy govemment 
was established in England no English statesman has 
held supreme power so long. W^alpole, he adds, was 
indeed First Lord of the Treasury during more than 
twenty years ; but it was not till Walpole had been for 
some time First Lord of the Treasury that he could be 
properly called Prime Minister,^ 

The King was not without some hopes that, even 
without Mr. Pitt, his Ministers might stand their 
ground. He conveyed to them an offer to that effect 
through Lord Hawkesbui-y, whom he designed as chief. 
But it appears to have been their unanimous opinion 
that such a scheme woidrl not have the smallest pros- 
pect of success. Lord Hawkesbmy therefore dee Lined 
so shortlived a pre-eminence, although he took to him- 
self the ofiBce of Lord Wai-den of the Cinque Porte, 
which was also left vacant by Irlr, Pitt s decease. 

His Majesty, who had in fact no other option, next 
applied to Lord Grenyille ; and in the first days of 
February a Ministry was formed, comprisiag the chiefs 
of the three parties wliich had recently acted t^igether 
in opposition. Lord Grenville became First Lord of 
the Treasuryj Mr. Fox Secretary of State for Foreign 
Affairs, and Lord Sidniouth Privy Seal 

' Biogmphiee, p. 231. 




'In the first intemew of Mr, Fox at the Foreign 
Office with Count Stahremherg, the Austrian Minister, 
the latter asked : ** Have you no difficulty respecting 
the Roman Catholic question ? " To this Fox answered : 
"None at aU. I am determined not to annoy my 
Sovereign by bringing it for^vard ." * 
' The scope of the present work, however, is not at all 
concerned with the further political proceedings, except 
only so far as they conveyed tokens of respect to Mr. 
Pitt, So early as the 24tli of January a notice for that 
object was given by the Hon. Henry Lascelles, the col- 
league of Mr. Wilberforce in the representation of 
Yorkshire. On the 27th he brought forward his motion. 
It was for an Address to the Ctoxvh, " that His Majesty 
will be graciously pleased to give directions that the 
remains of the Right Hoil WiUiam Pitt be interred at 
the public charge ; and that a monument be erected in 
the collegiate church of St. Peter, Westminster, to the 
memory of that excellent statesman, with an inscription 
expressive of the public sense of so great and irreparable 
a loss, and to assure His Majesty that this House will 
make good the expenses attending the same." These 
were the exact words which the House of Commons had 
adopted in 1778 in honour of the great Lord Chatham. 
The friends of ]\Ii\ Pitt were determined to adhere to that 
noble precedent They would neither add anything to 
these words to gratify their own devoted feelings, nor yet 
take anything from them to secure an unanimous vote. 

The motion of Mr, Lascelles was seconded by the 

* Life of Lord Sidmonth, vol. ii. p. 435, 


Chap. XLIV*' 

Marquis of TitcMeld. It was warmly supported bjr 
Earl Temple and the GreiiTiIlea. On tlie other hand, 
it encountered a keen resistance. Lord Folkestone was 
the first to speak against it. Windham also rose to 
oppose it, to the surprise and displeasure of those who 
remembered during how many years of his life he had 
been obo of Pitt's Cabinet colleagues. Fox, who took 
the same course, was by no means open to the same 
objection p On the contrary, his speecli deserves the 
praise of entire consistency, and not only of consistency^ 
but of good taste and good feeling. "If/* said he, 
" ambition, if the gratification of party feelings, were 
here my objects, it would be my interest as well as my 
inclination not to cross in this instance the views of tlie 
Noble Lord near me (Earl Temple), and other near re- 
lations of the deceased Minister, with whom I am now 
likely to be for the remainder of my life inseparably 
boimd. .... If the mark of public respect were such as 
did not compromise my public duty in the compliance, 
no person would join in it more cheerfully and eagerly 
than I would. If^^ for instancGj it had been proposed to 
remedy those pecuniaiy difficulties which Mr. Pitt had 
incurred in the course of his political life — if it had 
been proposed to do those things for his relations which 
his own acknowledged disinterestedness did not allow 
him to do — if it had been proposed to supply the defi- 
ciencies of his own fortune — ^I would most willingly con- 
sent that all this should be done in the most liberal 
manner. But it is a very different thing to Ite called 
upon to confer honours upon Mr. Pitt as an * excellent 
statesman/ It cannot be expected that I should 




so far forget the principles I have unifonnly professed, 
as to subseriLe to the condemnatioD of those principles 
by agreeing to the motioii now before the House,'' 

In conversation subsequently with the Speaker, Mr, 
Fox said, " I was under great difficulties on this occasion ; 
but I refused to waive my opposition to this vote, although 
Lord Grenville asked it of me as a personal favour.*' * 

Lord Castlereagh, who summed up the debate on the 
part of the Ministers, acknowledged the liberal and 
candid tone of the great Whig orator, " who," lie added, 
"spoke throughout by no means in the spirit of an 
adversary.'* He had no reason at all to complain of 
the course adopted by Fox and by Fox's friends ; but 
he confidently appealed to the House at large. Nor 
was the appeal made in vain. The motion was carried 
by overwhelming numbers^ — 258 votes against 89, 

Before the House rose that night, notice was given 
by Mr* Cartv\T[ght, ono of the Mumbei-s for iS^ortbampton- 
shire^ that on the Monday following, the 3rd of Februarj^, 
he should bring forward a motion for the payment of 
Mn Pitt's debts. 

The question of these debts bad been a matter of 
anxious consideration among Pitt's personal friends. 
They held two or three small meetings on the subject. 
It was found that the outstanding bills, taken altogether, 
exceeded the assets by the vast sum of 40,000^. Mi-. 
Wilberforce and some others wished to raise the money 
by private contributions ; but fi'om the very large 
amount required, they did not find the prospect of suc- 

^ DJariea of Lord Colchetter, yoL ii* p. 31 > 




Ckap. XLIV. 

cess SO promising as at first sight it had seemed. It was 
mider these eircumstaaces that Mr. Cartwright gave his 
notice m the House of Commons* 

Another qnestion then arose. Should the application 
to Parhament include the further sum of 12^000?., as 
advanced to Jlr. Pitt by some friends in 1801 ? The 
Bishop of Lincoln, as one of the subscribers to that 
sum, argued that it should. To do otherwise, he said, 
would be to contravene the dying request of Mr. Pitt ; 
but the other subscribers took a different view. One of 
them, Mr, Wilberforce, went so far as to declare so- 
lemnly, that if this further grant were proposed in Par- 
hament, he would rise in his place and resist it to the 
utmost of his powder. In the teeth of such a declaration 
the Bishop could not persevere. It was finally deter- 
mined that the sum asked of Parliament should not ex- 
ceed the 40,000Z.^ 

Such then was the proposal which, in the form of an 
Address to the Crown, and without entering into any 
particulars, BIr. Cartwright made in the House of Com- 
raons on the ord of February. His seconder was Mr. 
Wilbraham Bootle, the same who in 1S28 w^as raised 
to the peerage as Lord SkeliftM-sdale. There ensued 
another long debate, though with no great difference of 
opinion. Mr. O'Hara, Member for Shgo, and Mr. Wil- 
liam Smith, Member for Norwich, expressed some 
hesitation. They were very moderate, however, when 

^ Compare on tbla transactiori 
tlio Diaries of Mr, Wilberforco 
(toI. iii. p. 248) witli tlioae of Mr. 
Eose (^vtjL ii. p. 243), Lord Malmes- 

buiy, who w(ia not proaent, appears 
to have iniBimderstootl the account 
that Lord CiiniDgton gave him 
(toL iv. p. 3j0}. 




compared to tlie Tiscount Folkestone. ^*Tlie public 
services of Mr. Pitt," exclaimed liis Lordsliipy ** I deny. 
His great talents I do not admit." But even Lord 
Folkestone added, that although he objected to the 
gvantj he should not oppose it. In a more generous 
spirit both Fox and Windham rose to express the plea- 
sure that they felt in assenting* " Never in my life/* 

I cried Fox, " did I give a vote with more satisfaction 
than I shall do this night in support of the motion-" 
Finally it passed nem, eon. The money vraa voted ao- 
cortlingly, and was paid to the account of the Executors. 

P There was also fulfilled the last request of Mr, Pitt 

in behalf of his Stanhope nieces. A pension of 1200?. 
a-year was granted to Lady Hester, and a pension of 
6U0/. a-year to each of her two sisters. The warrants 
for this purpose were carried to the King for signature 
by Lord Hawkesbury before he retired from office. 
Lady Hester's, when completed, bore the date of 
January 30, 1806. But the pensions to her sisters 
were placed on a different branch of the Four and a 
Half per Cent Duties, not payable, as the first, by the 
officer of the fund, who was technically called " the 
Husband,** All the fusions on this inferior branch 
were subject to a yearly deduction of tw^enty-five per 
cent, from their nominal amount.''^ 

The Public Funeral which the House of Commons 
had decreed to the great statesman was fixed for Satur- 
day the 22nd of February* During the two previous 


' Appendix to the TLdni Report I Expenditure in 1807, pp. 149 and 
from the Coxuimttee on the Public j 324. 


Chap. XtlT. 

days the coffin lay in state in the Painted Chamber. 
At half-past twelve, on the appointed day, the moiimful 
procession began to move fi-om Westminster Hall, The 
pall was supported by the Archbishop of Canterbury 
and three Dukes— Beaufort, Rutland, and Montrose* 
Lord Chatham was of course the Chief Moui'ner. Im- 
mediately behind him walked six Assistant Mourners, 
among whom were Lord Wellesley and the new Prime 
Minister, Lord Grenville. The "Banner of Emblems," 
whieh followed, was borne by Mr* Speneer Perceval, 
supported on the left by Mr. Eose, on the right by Mr. 
Canning. In front, the " Banner of the Crest of Pitt" 
was borne by a kinsman of the family, Thomas Chol- 
mondeley of Chesliire, suppoi-ted by Morton Pitt and 
Wilberforce, Sir Artlmr Wellesley and his brother 
Henry walked among the seven younger sous of Earls. 
There was the Speaker in his robes ; the Lord Mayor in 
his collar and chain. There were a considerable number 
of the Peers ; a considerable nimibor also of the Mem- 
bers of the House of Commons ; and the proeessioo was 
closed by the officers of the Cinque Port Volunteers.* 

Striking indeed, most Btriking, must the sight have 
been when the coffin of Pitt was low^ered to its resting 
place in full Tiew of the statue of Chatham. **It 
seemed," says Mr. Wilberforce, " as though his statue 
were looking down wdth consternation into the grave 

® London Gojsette, Marcli 1-4, 
1806, I liiive a copy of tliia uinong 
my father's papers, with s&ina MS» 
corrections in adc at the time . T Ima 
hy somo, inadvcrtcniy the name of 

the Bishop of Lincoho. is omitted 
in tiio i)rint<ed copy. As joint 
Esecutur he walked directly be- 
hind the " Banner of Kmblenia.^' 




wkich was opened for his fayourite son, the last per- 
potuator of the name."^ With no less feeling does 
Lord Wellesley describe the solemii scene : " We at- 
tended him to Westminster Abbey. There the grave 
of his illustrious father was opened to receive him, and 
we saw his remains deposited on the coffin of his vene- 
rated parent. What grave eontijins such a father and 
such a sou? W^hat sepulchre embosoms the remains 
of so much human excellence and glory ?" * 

The Monument to Mr. Pitt which the House of Com- 
mons had voted was for its execution entrusted to Sir 
Richard Westmacott, at the cost of 6300^. It was not 
raised, however, in the north transept near the place of 
his interment, but over the great western doors — a 
position far too high for general efiect. 

Even during the lifetime of Pitt a statue to him had 
been in contemplation. This was in the spring of 1 802. 
The subscriptions for it bad begun, and were in rapid 
progress, to the great wrath of the Opposition versifiers* 

" What ! to a wolf a statue give, 

That scarce would suffer us to live ?'* 

So begins a poem of Peter Pindar on the subject^ 
But the design was arrested by Pitt himself. He de- 
clared that he would not accept nor agree to an honour 
so unusual to any man in his lifetime. The sum 
already raised was therefore not appUed, but was for 

* Life, vol iil p. 254. ' Letter dated Nov. 22, 1836. 

*^ WatkB, vol. It. p. 506. 




the present vested in the public funds in the name of 
certain Trustees.^ 

Since the death of Mr. Pitt, lioweyer, and with the aid, 
I presume, of that suhscription, two statnes of especial 
merit have risen to his memory. The one, in moi-ble, 
by NoUekens, stands in the Senate House at Cambridge ; 
the other, in bronze, by Chantrey, stands in the centre 
of Hanover Square. Besides the first of these, NoUe- 
kens made several busts of excellent likeness, which 
have been often copied and repeated. One of the best 
of tlie originals was inherited by the present Earl 
Granville from his father, the personal friend of Rtt. 
In 1861 Lord Granville, with that Hbeml spirit which 
has always marked his character, presented it to the 
collection of the National Portrait GaUqry. 

Of the portraits, in oil, of Pitt^ by far the best, and in- 
deed the only good ones, are by Gainsborough, Hoppner, 
and Lawrence. The first was painted during the first 
years of his administration. It was often repeated by 
Gainsbi3rough himself, and stiU more often copied by 
his pupils — ^sometimes in full length, sometimes in half 
length, and sometimes only in head size. One of the 
best of the originals, wliieli is now in my possession, has 
supplied the engraving to the third volume of my present 

Pitt on the other hand did not sit to Hoppner until 
his latter years. Of that portrait also there are nu- 
merous repUeas and numerous copies. I have been 
assured that the two following are among the most 

> Ann. Register, 1802, p. 184. 





authentic: the one wliich belongs to the Marquis of 
Norniaiiby, and is now at Mulgrave Castle ; the oilier, 
which belongs to Lord Carington, and is now or was 
lately at Wycombe Abbey. 

The portrait by Sir Thomas Lawrence is at full length, 
and hangs in the great gallery at Windsor Castle. In 
point of artistic genius and merit it may be deemed to 
surpass all other pictures of Pitt. I was assured by the 
late Lord Aberdeen that Pitt never sat for it ; but being 
on a yisit at the Priory^ where Lawrence had been in- 
vited, and where Lord Aberdeen was also among the 
guests, Lawrence applied himself all the time he was 
in Pitt's company to an intense study of his features, 
and as soon as he was again alone hastened to transfer 
his impressions to his canvas. 

Of the drawings and sketches I would mention especi- 
ally : first, the small sketch by Copley, taken of Mr. Piti^ 
as I conjecture, before he was of age. It has been twice 
engraved: first at the time by Bartolozzi, but by no 
means with Bartolozzi's usual skill; and secondly^ aa 
a frontispiece in the first volume of this biography. 
Next, the drawing by Ediidge taken in 1801, and en- 
graved in the course of the same year. It is a small 
full length, which represents Mr. Pitt in his every day 
attire and seated at his usual writing table. I have 
heard several persons who were intimate with Mr, Pitt 
declare themselves much struck at the faithful re- 
semblance of this priut. 

Designiug to reserve the rest of this chapter for a 
Bunimary of Mr. Pitt s character, or for some scattered 



Chap. XUV. 

facts wMcli bear upon it, I will in the first place insert 
two communications whicli have been addressed to me. 

Right Hon, R. N, HamiUmi to Earl Stanhope, 

'' Chesham Place, June 30, 1861. 
"Mt dear Stanhope, 

** In early life it was my good fortune to liear 
many anecdotes of 3Ir, Pitt, wliicli I now regret not 
having' committed to paper. 

** I well remember ray fatlior-inJaw, the late Lord 
Elgin, describing the first interview he had with that 
distinguished statesman. 

" It appears that Lord Elgin when a young man at- 
tracted the attention of the first Lord Melville, in con- 
sequence of a speech he made in the House of Lords on 
foreign afiairs. Ixird Melville, at that time known as 
Mr, Dundas, intimated to Lord Elgin that the Govern- 
ment was about to send some coiifidential person to 
Vienna on a mission that required secrecy and despatch, 
and invited Lord Elgin to undertake the charge. Lord 
Elgin was too glad to accept the offer, and on that day 
received an invitati^m to dine with Mr. I*itt. 

" To his surprise he found Mr. Pitt alone, and naturally 
felt embarrassed at being t^te-^-tete with the great 

'* Mr. Pitt's manner and conversation were so engaging 
as to set him at ease^ and they sat to a late hour con- 
versing on foreign afiairs- 

" When Lord Elgin rose to depart., Mr, Pitt told him 
that it was most desirable that he should repair to 
Vienna as soon as possible. Lord Elgin replied, ' I am 
ready to go to-morrow^ but I have no instructions.' 
Mr. Pitt then stated : * If you wait a little longer, yon shall 
receive your instructions before you leave the house/ 





He then called for writing materials, and proceeded 
to write the instructions himself. Lord El<j;iu obsoryed 
that he wrote with wonderful rapiility, making at the 
time many erasures and alterations. When he had 
finished writing, he said : *Here are your instructions ; 
enclose them to Lord Carmarthen. He knows my 
handwriting, and will sign them at once.* 

•'Lord Elgin complied with Mr. Pitt's dh-ections, and 
within twenty-fom* hours was on his way to Vienna, 

" There was no Circumlocution Offi^ in those days ! 
" Very truly yours, 

"K.K Hamilton.** 

The writer of the next letter has not given me per- 
miflsion to state his name* 

»' July, 1861. 

" Pitt was my earhest idoL I was five years old 
at the time of his death, but I remember it as yesterday. 
My mother at that time was living in great retirement 
during my father s absence on service ; her children, of 
whom I was the eldest, were her chief, almost her only, 
companions, and I was of course proportionably pre- 
(jocious. She was an anxious and gloomy politician, 
hut not more gloomy than the threatening aspect of the 
times wan^anted* To me famines, invasions, and Jaco- 
bins (Eadicals as yet were not) were objects of real 
and present dread. I well remember the burst of un- 
controllable grief with which my mother received the 
news of Pitt's death, I stood by in mute terror for some 
time, and then stole up to my own little room to cry 
unchecked (precocious patriot that I was) for my 
country. But do not suppose we were singular in onr 
distress. "Few as were the friends and neighbours we 
saw, 1 saw others, too, in tears. Politics had a reality then 
which in these days it is not easy to make understood. 



Chap. XLIV, 

" I forget when the late Lord Sidmoxith died, and do 
not know whether it is possible you should have known 
liim when you were a very young man. 

" He was fond of talking of his political career. I 
remember Mb telling me one day that the first time Pitt 
ever met Burke in society after the quarrel with Fox 
was at hifl (then Mr, Addington's) house, Pitt was not 
at that time alarmed at the possible spread of French 
doctrines in this country^ and in reply to some fore- 
boding remark of Bnrke'a, he said : * Oh ! I am not 
at all afraid for England ; we shall stand till the Day of 
Judgment." *Ay, Sir/ retorted Burke, *but it is the 
day of no judgment I am afraid of.' 

" Believe me, &c., 

The story which this last paragraph relates was also 
told by Lord Sidmouth to Dean Pellew/ who has been 
enabled, by means of a contemporary note, to fix the 
exact date of the meeting in question, namely, Saturday 
the 24th of September, 1791- Besides Pitt> Burke, and 
Addington, the only other person present was Lord 
Grenville. It appears, however, from the contemporary 
note, that the dinner did not take place at Addington's 
house, but at Pitt 8 in Downing Street. 

There is an anecdote which Lord Sidmouth was also 
fond of telling of Ktt in company with another eminent 
man. Pitt — so Lord Sidmouth used to premise — ^had a 
talent of improving a man's own sentiments, and re- 
tiurning them to him in a better dress. Once, when 
Lord Sidmouth had dined at Pitt's house, with Dundas 

^ See a note ia Fenew'a Life of Lord Sidmouth^ vol L p. 72. 




and Adam Smith, the latter said to Lord Sidmouth 
after dmner, " What an exti-aordinary man Pitt is ! 
he makes me understand my o\m ideas better than 

The impression left by the great Minister on all who 
knew him was indeed, on several points, of no common 
kind. It is the more striking, since, in many cases, we 
find it come forth incidentolly. "Pitt* the most for- 
giving and easy-tempered of men,*' — so says Lord 
Malmesbnry while treating of another subject.*' " Pitt 
is the moat upright p^jhtieal character I ever knew or 
heard of," — ^so writes Wijberforce to Bankes.'^ The ob- 
servation of Rose upon a^iother feature of his character 
is no less weighty : — ** With respect to Mr. Pitt., I can 
Bay with the sincerest truth, that in an intercourse 
almost uninterrupted dm'ing more than twenty years I 
never saw him once out of temper, nor did ever one 
unpleasant sentence pass between us." ^ 

The religious principles of Mr, Pitt were seldom if 
ever discussed by him in general conversation* ** Pitt," 
said WUberforce to Lord JIacaulay, " was a man who 
always said less than he thought on such topics." But 
as to his real feelings upon them, no testimony can be 
stronger than that of the eminent man who, up to 1797, 
lived with him on terms of close friendship, and almost 
daily intercourse. " Mr. Pitt,** so Lord Wellesley wTites, 
** had received regular and systematic insti'uction in the 
principles of tho Christian reUgion, in the doctrine and 

* Life by Dean PeMew, vol i. 
p. 15L 

* Diuriea, voL iv. p. 185. 

' Letter dated Oct. i 1801. 
s Diaries, vol ii* |). 234. 




discrplino of the Clmrcli of England, and in every 
branch of general eeclesiastieal hiet-ory. His knowledge 
on these subjects was accurate and extensive. He was 
completely armed against all sceptical assaults, as well 
as against all fanatical illusion; and in truth he was 
not merely a faithful and dutiful, but a learned member 
of our Established Church." ^ 

The goodness and gentleness of Mr. Pitt to all those 
who were any way dependent upon him formed a main 
feature of his character. To his domestics his indidgence 
was indeed carried to a most faulty extreme^ since he 
did not, as he ought, control their expenses or reyiew 
their accounts* To the poor families around him he 
was ever ready to stretch forth his helping hand, ^^Tien 
I used to live at Deal or Walmer, many years ago, I 
heard several stories of the kind, w^hich at this distance 
of time I do not perfectly remember ; but in the course 
of last summer I was informed that there were still 
living at the viQage of Keston, near Holwood, two 
persons w^lio, or whose families, had been in the employ- 
ment of Mi\ Pitt. I went over one afternoon to see 
themj and will here insert my notes of what they told 
me: — 

I^oies at Kestorij August 24, 1861* 

Mmsdl, once assistant carter to IVIr. Pitt, now aged 
82, a hale and cheery old man :— ** Mr. Pitt (God bless 
him !) was ever doing us some good thing. . . • If good- 
ness would keep people alive, Mr. Pitt would be alive 

» Letter dated Nov. 22, 1S36. 




" He could ne'er abide to see any of us poor folk stand 
f^\ with bare heads before bim ; w!ien he saw, as he came, 
any one uncover, his word was always, * Put on your 
hat, my friend.' " 

Bettff Elliott^ whose father and uncle were wood- 
cutters of Mr. Pitt. Aa a child she heard a great deal 
of his constant kindness to the poor. *' Surely he was 
missed when he went ; he was a rare good gentleman." 

Once her nncle being drawn for a soldier, and very 
unwilhng t-o serve, Mr. Pitt gave him money to pin*- 
chase his release. And tiie bailiff told him, ** Mind yon 
are not to go and thank master. He does not want to a 
be thanked^ If you thank him too much, he will never f^\ 
do anything else for you." / 

With the well-known hmnanity of Mr, Pitt and his 
kindness to the poorer classes, I much doubt if I need 
have noticed the whoUy unsupported statement to the con- 
trary of a foreign iivTiter. In a new work, La Femme, by 
M. jMichelet, is a passage which may be thus translated : — 

"When the English manufacturers, though enor- 
mously enriched by their recent machinery, came to 
complain to Mr, Pitt, and said, 'We can do no more; 
we are not making money enough!' Mr. Pitt uttered 
a dreadful phrase — un mot effroyabU — which weighs 
upon his memory. He said, ^ Take the children ! ' " ^ 

I observe that no authority whatever is alleged to 
corroborate tliis story, and I must take leave to offer it 



Chap. XLIV. 

a oontradiction as direct and as decided as courtesy- 

On no point in his life-time was Mr. Pitt more fre- 
quently assailed than on the strictness of his morals. 
It formed the burthen of the songs and squibs, and 
sometimes even of the speeches, made against him* 
As an Undergraduate at Cambridge, how cruel to repel 
the pretty flower-girls, **who came fresh from the 
country, and who only endeavoured to sell to the young 
gentlemen their roses and lih'es ! " So writes one satirist 
who had taken Holy Orders.^ As Chancellor of the 
Exchequer, how unfair to lay a tax on all maid-servants, 
instead of flirting with two or three of them, as every 
gentleman should! So cried a whole chorus in the 
House of Commons.^ Taunts like these find a ready 
echo in the days of youth, 

** When all our locks were like the raven's wing." 

But at another period they may be differently viewed. 
I have already cited the solemn testimony showing 
that Sir, Pitt in his dying hours derived consolation 
from remembering the innocency of his life* 

It is observed by Lord Macaulay, as tending to 
explain the abstinence of Mr, Pitt from loose amours, 
that " his constitution was feeble ; he was very shy, 
and he was very busy." * I do not deny a certain influ- 
ence to each of these three causes ; but I think it is 
clear, from the last words of Mr. Pitt to Bishop Tom- 

' Peter Pindiu s Woike, voL iv. 
p. 507, ed, 1812. 
^ Sue tiie Debates eepeciany of 

May 10 and June 8, 1785. 
^ BiogmpMes, p. 183, ed. I860. 




line, that there had been no indifference in hira npon 
the subject It is impossible that any man could derive 
any consolation on hm deathbed from the innocency of 
his past life, unless there had been in his youth self- 
control to exert, and temptation to overcome. 

It vfSLB not merely on this point, but on every other, 
that the feelings of Pitt were under the dominion of 
his resolute wilL Whether in the debates of the Com- 
mons as their leader, or in the government of the 
country as its chief, he showed a thorough mastery 
over his own emotions, acting throughout, not on im- 
pulse, but on principle. With great truth does Lord 
Macaulay describe '* his usual majestic self-possession/' ^ 
This temper of Pitt well tallies with a reply from him 
I lyhich Lord Brougham has recorded. One day, when 
the conversation turned upon the quality most required 
in a Prime Mnister, and one said Eloquence, another 
Knowledge, and a third Toil, Mr. Pitt said, "No; j 
Patience."* / 

The self-command of Pitt is the more noteworthy, - 
since in him it was not natural, but acquired. The 
very opposite disposition is ascribed to him in boyhood. 
"Eager Mr* William" is his mother's phrase in 1766. 
" Impetuous William " says his father at the same 
period. And in 1773 "William's ardoinr** is once again ^ 
commemorated by Lord Chatham. "^ 

Few men of note have travelled less than Mr. Pitt. 
His foreign tours^ as we have seen, were limited to six 



* BiogmpMea, p. 225, ©d. 1860. 

* Lord Brongliaiii's Sketches of 
Statesman, yoL L p. 27S. 

^ See the ClmtlLam Correspond* 
ence, voL ii. pp, 392 and 39it| and 
vdL iv. p, 267. 




weeks one antimm in France. He was neyer in Scot- 
Land nor in Ireland, I cannot trace him to any more 
northerly point than Lord AYestmorland^s seat of 
Aptborp, in Nortliamptonsliire ; and, except on ciniuit, 
lie never went farther west than the King's Lodge, 

It has often been charged against Mr. Pitt, that 
during his long administration he did nothing, or next 
to nothing, to enconrage Literatiu"e or the Fine Arts, or 
to reward tliose men who were rising to eminence in 
those wallts of life* I am bound to say that I consider 
this charge to be well-fonnded. In some cases it is no 
doubt easy to offer an adequate defence. In the case 
of Porson, for instance, it must, I think, be owned that 
intemperate habits, no less than democratic views, im- 
fitted that eminent scholar for preferment at that time* 
But in the case of many others, as, for example, Cowper 
the poet, there were no such reasons to allege. In 
all these we seek in vain to trace the helping hand 
of the powerful Prime Minister, Even tbat scanty pit- 
tance wliich, imder the most inappropriate form of an 
exciseman's place, was bestowed on Bums, appears to 
have been the gift, not of Pitt, but of Dundas. 

I will here state the nearest approaches I have found 
of exceptions to this general neglect, as I fear I must 
regard it, on the part of Pitt I call them approaches 
only, since, after all, they did not go further than endea- 
vours and intentions. 

In the first place, Pitt had wished to make Paley a 
Bishop. But the Xijig, it is understood, resisted the 
proposal on account of the Liberal tendency of some of 





the "riews of government whicli the Moral PJdlosophy 

Secondly, there were few warmer admirers than was 
Ktt of the Lay of the Last Mimtrel, which came forth 
at the beginning of 1805. His conversation on the 
subject is commemorated in a letter addressed some 
years afterwards to the author by William Dmidas: 
*' I remember,*' says Mr. Dundas, " at Mr. Pitt's table, 
in 1805, the Chancellor aaked me about yon and your 
then situation, and after I had answered him, llr. Pitt 
observed: *He cant remain as he is;' and desired 
me * to look to it.* He then repeated some lines from 
the Lay^ describing the old harper's embarrassment 
when asked to play, and said, ' This is a sort of thing 
which I might have expected in painting, but could 
never have fancied capable of being given in poetry/" * 

A person of political eminence amongst us, writing 
to nie in January, 1861, has made a strilving reflection 
on this subject. *' If Pitt neglected literary men, as 
Macaulay in his brilliant sketch accuses him of having 
done, Literature has amply revenged herself upon him ; 
for it is difficult to say whether his great glory has 
suffered most from his friends or his enemies by means 
of the press." 

In my fii'st Chapter I described the ready skill which 
Mr. Pitt in his youth had acquired of translating off- 
haud into English the best Greek and Latin authors. 
Let me now give an instance of it as derived from his 

■ See tbe Diaries of Loid Col- 
chester, vol. i. p. 474. 
y See ihe letter to Walter Scolt, | 

yOL. lY, 

m&erted in Lockhart'is lifOf vol. ii. 
p. 225. 



Chxp. XLTVi 

maturer years. It was told Mr. Kogers by Mr, Eedhead 
Yorke, who was present, and 3Lr. Rogers has put it on 
record in his ' HecoUei'tions.' One day in Pitt's com- 
pany some person quoted a sentence as follows Irom the 

Dialogue of Tacitus De Oratoribug : — 

*' Magna eltiqueiitia sicnt flamma materia alitur et m.otibns 
excitatar et urendo claresoit-'' 

Another of the party observed that it was untrans- 
latable ; upon which 3Ir, Pitt immediately replied, 
'* No ; I should translate it thus :■ — 

•* It is with eloquence as with a flame. It requires fuel to 
feed it, motion to excite it, and it brightens as it bums.'" ' 

Of the style of Pitt in his speeches I have little to 
say beyond the details and the descriptions which I 
have already given in several passages of this work. 
I will only add that, according to the nnauimons 
assurance of those who knew him well, he did not 
prepare the structure or the wording of his sentences, 
iar less write them down beforehand. Tlie statement 
of his friends upon this point is much confirmed by his 
own notes, as scattered among his papers. These notes? 
which are in his own handwriting, are all extremely 
brief ; at most some figures for his finance, and some 
headings for his argument- Let me add, as instances, 
his only written preparation for two of the most 
reuo^^Tied among his many great harangues. 

* Tacit de Orat., c 36; and 

Kog«re*a Kecgflectionfl, p. 178- The 

of these B^coUectioDfi has 

ieifed liie aullioibhip of the 

fiom Tacltnfl to Oeen>; 
an error that woold haTe greaJdj 
shocked Mr. Epgers Uimaftlf, 

Lord M.'b negotiatlcm. 

Some oeoesiaiy and agreeaUe 
to nsdgo — juat and roaaon- 
able — (in principle) acknow- 
ledged (though contestt^d, 
and have denied to bo juatj 
— (Inteireaing demand of 

Statement of terms (^eparato as 
to Fmnce and Allies). 

Under what cireumstances 
(Italy— Erapf). 

xul iMiltiijice 
• — Particular 


By what con- 
to ho influ- 
enced. J 

On what prinA 

and for I 

3^ Openings for modificatioii — Hol- 

^^^^ 412 LIFE OF PITT, Chap. XLIT^^B 

H XI HQ of pers<>Tial diseussion — De- 


^^^ ixmnd of Plenipotentiaries— Offera 

^^^H of explanatbn. 


3. What the Isasia and offer now is. H 

^V 1. No such gGparate law can be 

Argrument on French consti- H 

^^^ bJDding on otiier nations — 

tution and laws. ^^H 

^^H y attel — Mr. Fox — ^ reason. 


^^^ 2. Not to be found in constitiitioii 


^M (S cnse not puhlie — how mider- 

■ stood). 


^M 3. If there does not apply to Bel- 

Trentm (Nebtichadnezar)* ^^^B 

^m gium or giveu up ad to 

This sua preliminary — statement H 

H colonies — 

of oOier points. ^B 

H 4. It applies aa well to Ireland. 
^^^ ■ 5. Not beloved bjr this — Primary 

HoUand left open. ^H 

Germany. ^^^^| 

Bpoiu. ^^^H 

^^^V Colonies. 

New ac<iuisitioiis, ^^^H 

^V ConBtitutiDD. 

Navy. ^^^H 

^^^ Article 1st Indivisible. 


^^^P^ JS^otes of Speedi {May 23, 1803). ^^^ 

^K Actg Binco the Preliminacies, 


^^H Elba. 


^^^H Etruria. 


^^^^ Louisiana. 


^^^^ Since definltivo Treaty, 


^^■jL Black Sea. 


^^^"' ' Piedmont, 


^M Germany. 


^H Switzerland. 


^^^ Caaea which may arise. 


^^^B Encroachments on Austria or 


^^^" otlier parts of Continent. 


^M On powers guQjraiitced by us ,....« 

PoTtogal. ^^^H 

Naples, ^^^^H 

Malta. ^^H 

Turkey. ^^^| 


On MaiitiiTie InteiestB , 



On objects immedmtely Britiali 

Spain or 8. Ainenca. 

Portugal or Brazil. 

Hollimd or it« Colonies. 

Egypt or Maritime PossesESoofl of 

N, America. 

Shuttmg Porta of EnrofK), 
Bending forces to In^lia, or ad- 
vancing cMms tliere, 
FroRch emlgranta. 

Geneml state of NaTal and Mili- 
tary preparation. 
Finance system. 
System of Foreign oonnectioiu 

The action of Pitt in public speaking was not sncli 
as might perhaps be guessed from his ever self-pos- 
sessed and stately style. It was tery vehement. So 
it was described to me by Lord LjTidhnrst, who had 
often heard him. He would sometimes bend forward 
eagerly, and so far that his figure almost touched the 
table. This account well agrees with the statement of 
Francis Horner, who in 179G — then a very young, but 
even then a very intelligent eye-witness — used to 
attend the gallery of the House of Commons, Of the 
great Parliamentary rivals he observes : ** The one 
(Mr. Fox) saws the air with his hands, and the other 
(3Ir. Pitt) with his whole body,"" 
K As Minister of the Finances, Mr. Pitt- has been since 

H assailed by divers accusations. Ho has Ijeen called 
H improvident and unwise in the system of his Loans at 
■ the period of the war. But I do not think this charge 





Ckaf. XLIT- 

likely to be made 

in by any man of Tniieli 
weight after that very seareliirig and convinemg Essay 
published in 1855 by llr, Newmarch, to which in a 
former passage I referred,^ Mr. Newmarch, going 
through the Loans one by one, and contrasting the par- 
ticulars of each with the market prices of Stocks, Long 
Annuities, and KScrip from January, 1701^ to December, 
ISOOj has shown that these difficult operations were 
conducted with high financial eldllj and on the most 
favourable terms that the fijjaneiul state of the conntry 
would allow. By a table of our Subsidies to Foreign 
Powers between the outbreak of war in 1793 and the 
Peace of Amiens in 1801, amounting in that period to 
upwards of fifteen millions eterlingj and by another 
table of the prices and importatious of corn between 
1791 and 1803^ with the amount of bounties for corn 
imported in consequence of deficient harvests (thosG 
bounties in the one year 1801 being little short of a 
million and a half), he has most clearly laid before us 
the further difficulties with which England had at that 
time to contend, and the impossibility, notwithstanding 
the immense increase of the taxation, of raising to the 
fuU extent the supplies within the year. 

Besides, under Pitt's system there accrued a most 
important advantage, which could not have bc^n 
expected under the system urged by certain of his 
adversaries — a large augmentation of yearly taxes in 

■ See vol. ii. p. 3S9. Witlx the 
cakulatioiia of Mr. Newiimrch in 
that Etisay iiiay be coni|jared thoeo 

of Mr. Glodatone m bis speeoh of 
May 8, ISM. 




tlie lieu of loan^. Under liis system, our commeiice in 
the midst of war not only maintained itself, bnt grew 
and extended Tliis is most clearly shown in the series 
of thirty-one Finance Resolutions which, in July, 1799, 
Mr. Pitt proposed, and the House of Commons voted. 
It appean^ that the total value of all imports into Great 
Britain wa^, in the year ending Januaiy 5, 1784, 
13,122,000/.; in 1793, 19,659,000?.; and in 1799, 
25,654,000?. Taking the same periods, the total value 
of British manufactures exported from Great Britain 
was in 1784, 10,409,000/.; in 1793, 18,336,000/.; and 
in 1799, 19,771,000/, And the total value of foreign 
merchandise exported from Great Britain was, in 1784, 
4,332,000/. ; in 1793, 6,568,000/. ; and in 1799, 

It 18 also worthy of note that the system of more 
accurate account and strict economy in the details of 
the revenue, as established by Mr. Pitt in 1784, was 
never for a moment, even in the midst of a most costly 
war, relaxed or relinquished by him. This is a point 
on which just sti-ess is laid in the valuable pamphlet on 
the National Finances, which was published in 1799 by 
Mr, Rose, then johit Secretary of the Treasury, "In 
attributing merit," he says, "to the adoption of such 
measm-es, we must not lose Sight of the firm adher- 
ence to them under circumstances of the greatest 

This general view wiU be found to be more and more 

■* Brief ExtiiniiitLtion, Ac, Tjy George Boae, Esq., 17D9. See OHpeciaUy 
pp. 22, 50, and 54, 



Crap. XL^^ 

confirmed the further we go into details. Take, for 
instance, the department of Excise. So successful had 
been Pitt's administration of it, that in 1799 there were 
747 fewer officers for the management of a revenue of 
twelve milUons than in 1784 for a revenue of six 
iniOiona. And in 1799, when the gross revenue stood 
at nearly twenty-two millions, tlie expenses of collection 
were only 3000?. more than in 1784, when the revenue 
was little more than fourteen millions. 

In the Cnatoms it is stat^ on authority in 1799, that 
since 17S4 eighty-five offices had been abolished — all 
these absolute sinecures, in value from under lOOi to 
2000?. ; and all these, I need not add, pieces of most 
serviceable patronage in the hands of any Government. 

Till the time of Pitt the Army Contracts had been 
a fruitful source of jobbing under every Ministry ; above 
all, since the contracts were bestowed by private grant, 
and since the contractors were frequently Members of 
Parliament. In this case as in the case of loans, 
Sir. Pitt put a total stop to all danger of abuses by 
the simple expedient of free competition and sealed 

At the Admiralty there was another change of no 
less importance. Ever since the reign of Charles the 
Second (prior to which there are no books extant), the 
payments for naval victualling and stores were made in 
bills payable at uncertain periods. Thus they were 
taken at a discount, which discount increased very con- 
siderably at every period of war. During the last five 
years of the American contest it had vaiied from eleven 
and a half to sixteen three-q^uartera per cent. Still no 




remedy was applied to this enormous evil, tmtil by a 
new regulation, which Pitt not only prepared, but em- 
bodied in an Act of Parliament According to tliis new 
law, the Admiralty was required to make all its pay- 
ments in bills drawn at ninety days, and these bills 
being always discharged with rigid punetnality came to 
be considered and accepted as so much ready money. 
Hence arose a saving to the public to the full extent of 
the discount formerly allowed. 

\Yith facts such as these before us we have surely 
good ground to assert that the expenditure of England 
with Pitt at the head of the finances, though large 
beyond all precedent in time of war, was at no time 
lavish. And that it was so large can scarcely call for 
any long vindication. I know not how fiu-ther to argue 
against the man who does not think, or at least who 
will not own, that the most energetic measures at what- 
ever cost were requisite while we were contending with 
such a nation as the French ; above all, while they 
were either stirred to a feverish force by their fii'st 
Revolutionary period, or else directed with consvmimate 
sldll by the genius of Napoleon. 

But it is urged that Mr, Pitt as Prime Slinister might 
have refrained from entering info this formidable con- 
test. It is no longer denied that up to the winter of 
1792 he was most sincerely desirous of peace. Why 
then^ it is asked, did he at that period change his course ? 
I answer, because the French had first changed theii's. 
By their hostile measures against Holland, by their de- 
clared design to force the navigation of the rivei's 
Scheldt and Meuse, they were assailing vested rights 



Chap. XLIT. 

which we had bound ourselves by treaty to defend. By 
their famouB Decree of the 19th of November, they had 
called to iesxiiTection the subjects of the uoighbouring 
states, England of course included ; and they had pro- 
mised their full aid to those that would rebel. Had we 
overlooked the former, we should have been treacherous 
to our old allies; had we patiently borne the latter, we^ 
should have been untrue to ourselves. 

It is urged, however, that even admitting the wai- to 
be rightfully declared, the conduct of it with Mr. Pitt 
as Prime Minister was not prosperous. Yet surely his 
friends are entitled to allege at all events two considerable 
exceptions to this charge. They may claim that under 
his administration there were the most splendid naval 
victories, and also, unless perhaps in his father's time, 
the most important colonial conquests, that our annals 
anywhere record. So large are these exceptions, that 
if acknowledged, they may amount to an entire disproof 
of the charge when made in such general tenns. 

But let us consider this charge as narrowed to the 
point of the tluree expeditions on the Continent of 
Europe: — to Belgium in 1793; to Brittany in 1795; 
and to Holland in 1799. With regard to the second of 
these, it must, I think, be owned that our Government 
had nothmg fiirther to do than to provide the requisite 
means, ilny admixture of British troops* or any 
authority of a British commander, would have destroyed 
every prospect of a Koyaltst rising on the coast of 
France. The expedition was therefore, as of course, 
left to the direction of the Emigrant chiefs themselves, 
whose discordant counsels and whose hesitating move- 

J 806. 



rnents as I have detailed them in my narrative, will 
most fully account for the failure which ensued. 

In respect to the Belgium and the Holland eampaignSj 
it is no more than just to remember that throughout 
the first we were disappointed in the friends of the 
French Princes, as throughout the L%st in the friends of 
the Dutch Stadtholder. Above all, we should bear in 
mind, as applying to both, the earnest desire — ^nay, de- 
termination-^of George the Tliird to appoint the Duke 
of York to the cliief command, Now the Duke, although 
he afterwards proved himself an excellent administrator 
of the army, probably lacked skill, and certainly lacked 
experience, for operations in the field. He had to con- 
tend against such cliiefs as Hoche and Brune. He had 
to contend against new levies, it is true, but very nu- 
merous, full of courage, and fired with their first Eevolu- 
tionary zeal If, competing with such men, the English 
General failed, it may be asked of the same period 
whether the Austrian had any better fortune? Had 
the Prussian or the Dutch, the Sardinian or the Spanish ? 
The result is therefore to be explained by other causes, 
and not at all by any fault or failure in the Prime 
llinifitcr of England. It w^as certainly the opimon of 
several persons who at divers times conferred or corre- 
sponded with him upon this subject, and who were well 
qualified to form a judgment upon it, that Mr. Pitt dis- 
played as much sagacity in planning military operations 
as he had ever done in civil or political affairs* 

Such then as to his private qualities, and such also as 
to his public career, was Mr, Pitt. In diuwing a conclu- 



Chap, ] 

sion from the facts and arguments which I have now — 
fully I am sure, and fairly as I hope — laid before my 
readers, thus enabling them to judge for themselves of 
this mighty Minister, I readily acknowledge that my 
own view may be liable to question. Born as I was in 
lus house ; bred as I have been in a grateful attachment 
to his memory ; seeking as I have ever sought, though 
on some points perhaps mistakenly, to maintain his 
principles, I could not cast from my mind a warm and 
earnest feeling for his fame. I could not if I would, 
and I would not if I could. Perhaps then I may claim 
too much for him, I may be in error when I venture 
to pronounce him the greatest of all the statesmen that 
his country has produced- 

In my view at all events, whether that view be over- 
strained or no more than just, the very faults of Mr, Pitt 
were such as many other men might claim for virtues. 
If he had pride, it was only, as Burke so finely said 
of Keppel, ** a wild stock of pride on which the ten- 
derest of all hearts had grafted the milder virtues." If 
he had auibition, it w^as only to serve his country, and 

(not for any meaner aim. Disdaining for himself as per- 
haps no statesman had before both wealth and dignities, 
such as meaner minds are always craving — refusing not 
merely the Peerage which would have removed him 
from his proper sphere, but the Garter which he might, 
like Sir Kobert Walpole, bave worn in the House of 
Commons — he maintained tliroughout the rare combi- 
nation of a most slender patrimony with eminent dis- 
interestedness. " Dispensing for near twenty years the 
favours of the Crown, he lived without ostentation and 






he died poor : ** gucli is part of the inscription wliich the 
most ek^qiient and gifted of his pupils inscribed beneath 
his statue in Guildhall. His eloquence stands recorded 
by the most authentic testimony, and was tried by the 
most able competition. Conibining within it almost 
every kind of merit, it could charm and dehght and 
frequently amuse, while yet it awed hia hearers. In 
his financial system, he was the first to unloose the 
shackles upon trade ; and he gave his country in time 
of peace those resources which alone could nerve her arm 
in time of war. An assertor of rehgious liberty, and of 
equal rights to every denomination of Christians, he 
was respectful to the faith of others, steadfast, and well- 
grounded in his own. In the most vehement attacks 
upon himself from an infuriated majority of the Ilouse 
of Commons, as in the gravest perils by which liis 
country was assailed, the firmness of his mind was never 
even shaken, far less ever subdued. On the whole, then— 

" Glorious was his course, 
And long the track of hght he luft behind him." 

May that course be folIowed^ — may that track of hght 
be trod in, by many, very many, statesmen of the 
coming time I Some only can partake of its glory, but 
all may be guided by its ray. 



ISM — 1806, 

[There are no drafts among Mr. Pitt's MSS. of his letters 
to the King dated April 21 and May 6, nor yet of his 
letter to the Lord Chancellor for His Majesty's perusal 
dated May 2, 1804. 

Copies of these important papers are, however, happily 
preserved, and have been most kindly commmiicated to 
me hy William Bacres Adams, Esq., who was then 
Private Secretary to Mr, Pitt. g -i 

3Ir. Pitt to the King} 

EndoTscmeBt on the Copy. 

(Transmitted fhroiagh tlie Lord Chsmcellor on Simdfiy, 22rid April, and 
delivered by Mm to the King on Friday, 27tli.) 

Sir, York Place, April 21, 1804. 

It is with great reluctanee that I presume to 
trespass on your Bfajesty's attention ; but, as the view 

* The reader wiU not fell to ob- 
serve in tiieae letters, as establish etl 
form ret^uiied^tlie change ofaddix-tis 

from the firet person to tbe thiM, 
ftccording as Mi, Pitt was, or ^vas 
not, in tbe King's senile. 


I entertain of public affairs will shortly render it my 
indispensable duty in Parliament to declare more fully 
and explicitly than I have done hitherto my opinions 
on the conduct of your Majesty's present Ministers, I 
cannot help feeling a most anxious wish previously to 
Uy those opinions before your Majesty. 

Your Majesty will do me the justice to recollect that, 
on retiring from your Majesty's service, it was my first 
wish to be enabled to give every degree of support and 
assistance in my power to those to whom your Majesty 
confided the administration of your affairs. I continued 
to give this support and assistance with the utmost zeal 
and cordiality as long as it was possible for me to do so 
consistently with my sincere and honest opinions on 
the state of public affairs ; and even long after I saw 
considerable reason for highly disapproving many im- 
portant parts of the conduct of Government, I still 
abstained from joining in any system of Parliamentary 
opposition. During the whole period since the com- 
mencement of the present war, although I have 
throughout seen but too much reason to lament the 
want of any vigorous and well-considered system on 
the part of Ministers adapted to the new and critical 
state of affairs, my great object has been, instead of 
seeking opportunities for censure, to contribute as far 
as I could, by the humble efforts of an individual, to 
supply what I have considered as important omissions, 
and to recommend more adequate measures for the 
defence of the country. The experience of now nearly 
twelve months, and the observation of all the different 
measures which have been suggested or adopted by 
Government, and of the mode in which they have been 
executed, have at length impressed me with a fiiU con- 
viction that whil^ the administration remains in its 
present shape, and "particularly under the direction of 


tie person now Loldiog the cliief place in it, every 
attempt to proyide adecpiately and effectnally for the 
public defence, and for meeting the extraordinary and 
unprecedented eftbrts of the enemy, will be frnitless. 
I am also fully convinced that the same causes which 
tend to weaken our security at home are equally calcu- 
lated to preclude the chance of taking advantage of any 
favourable conjuncture to establish such a co-operation 
abroiid as might rescue the Continent from the miser- 
able and abject situation to which it is now reduced. 
With this impression, I consider the time as arrived 
when it is my indispensable duty, both to your Majesty 
and to the eountxy, to avow these opinions^ and to 
regulate by them my Parhamentary conduct. 

I am not so presumptuous as to allow myself to hope 
that the sentiments I have thus presumed to submit 
to yom- Majesty should appear entitled to attention, or 
deserving of any weight in your Majesty's mind ; but 
I flatter myself that your Majesty will condescend to 
receive them as a tribute of duty and respect, and as 
the sincere and honest opinions of one who is actuated 
by the wannest and most genuine attachment to yoiu* 
Majesty. On the same grounds I trust your Jlajesty 
will pardon me if I venture to add the assurance that, 
whatever may be the course of pubhc aflau'^s, and what- 
ever may be my own personal opinion respecting the 
system of government which woidd be most advisable 
in the present state of the country and of pijhtical par- 
ties, it will be my dcteiToination to avoid committing 
myself to any engagement the eflects of which would 
be likely to occasion, in any contingency, a sentiuicnt 
of dissatisfaction or uneasiness m your Majesty's mhid. 

I am, &c., &c,, 

W, Pitt. 



Mr, Pitt to tJm Lord Chcmcellor* 

(To be laid before the Eiag.) 

My deab Lord, 

York Place, May 2, 1804. 
what passed betwc 

In conformity 
terday, I now proceed to etute to yonr Lordship on 
paper the sentiments which I am desirons of humbly 
submitting for His Jilajesty's consideration. 

It becomes my indispensable duty to entreat His 
Majesty's permission to lay before him distinctly and 
without reserve the best opinion which I can form 
respecting the nature and description of administration 
which appears to rae likely to be most conducive to 
His IMajesty's service, together with the reasons for that 
opinion ; hut in doing so, I am anxious at the same 
time humbly to repeat the assurance that I do not pre- 
sume to request more from His Majesty than that he 
w^ould condescend to give a full and deliberate con- 
sideration to the proposal which I feel it my duty to 
submit to him^ If, after such consideration, and receiv- 
ing such further explanation as the nature of the subject 
may require, His Majesty should feel iDsnperable objec- 
tions to any part of the projwsal, much as I must in 
that case regret ffis Majesty's decision, I shall feel 
myself hound to acquiesce m it ; and if I should in that 
ease be honom-ed ivith His Majesty's ftirther commands 
to endeavour to fonn a plan of administration free ftt>m 
such objections, I shall be ready to obey them to the 
beat of my power. 

My opinion is founded on the strong conviction that 
the present critical situation of this country, connected 
mth that of Europe in general^ and with the state of 
political parties at home, renders it more important 
and essential than \icAaps at any other period that 





ever existed to endeavour to give tlie greatest possible 
strength and energy to His Majesty's GoveraDient, by 
endeavouring to unite in his service as large a propor- 
tion as possible of the weight of talents and connexions, 
drawn mthont exception from parties of all descrip- 
tions, and withont reference to former differences and 
divisions. There seems the greatest reason to hope 
that the circnmstances of the present moment are pecu- 
liarly favourable to such an union, and that it might 
now be possible (with His Blajesty's gracious approba- 
tion) to bring all persons of leading influence either 
in Parliament or in the country to concur heartily in 
a general system formed for the pmpose of extricating 
this country from its present difficulties, and endea- 
voiiring, if possible, to rescue Europe from tlie state to 
which it is reduced. The consequences of the French 
Revolution, universally understood and acknowledged, 
its effects in France, and Europe, and the world, and 
the present conduct and character of the First Consul, 
seem to have produced a very general desire that all 
the abilities and resources of the country should be 
exerted in meeting its present danger ; and in pursuit 
of this object, all the points of difference, however great 
and important, which at a former period prevailed in 
this country, seem, to all practical purjxise, to be super- 

The various advantages which may be derived from 
such a comprehensive system as I have pointed at 
are so obvious that it will not be necessary long to 
dwell on them. It is, in the first pla^^e, evident that,^ 
zealous and united as the country appears to be at this 
moment in its efforts against the enemy, tlie present 
contest may probably be of very long duration, attended 
with great and heavy burdens, and likely to press 
severely on the resources and convenience of all classea 


of pex'soiis. Under such circumstances, %vitli the chance, 
always unavoidable, of unfavourable evenfe in tlic course 
of the war, or of an aggravation of its diBBeiilties from 
the accidents of the seasons, it is impossible not to feel 
that a system of this mitnre would fiirnish a security 
that cannot otherwise be obtained for om* being enabled 
to persevere in the struggle with unabated vigour till it 
can be really brought to a safe and honourable issue. 
The same considerations which apply to this country 
separately, will operate as powerfully, if not still more 
so, on our means and prospects abroad. A firm and 
stable administration, not thwarted or embarrassed by 
any powerful opposition either in Parliament or the 
country, must furnish the best and perhaps the only 
chance of attracting sufBciently the respect and confi- 
dence of Foreign Powers, and of improving any favour- 
able opportunity to unite them once again in a great 
and combined effort for reducing the power of France 
withui limits consistent vv'ith the safety of other states, 
or at least of rescuing from its yoke some of those 
countries in whose fate, both from inclination and policy, 
we ought to feel most deeply int-erested. 

In addition to these two great considerations, the 
state of Ireland, and the delicate and difficult questions 
which may arise respecting the internal condition of 
that country, are scarcely less deserving of attention. 
I need not repeat to your Lordship what has long since 
been known to Hia Majesty, liow fully my own deter- 
mination has been formed to prevent His Majesty being 
ever disquieted for a moment, as far as depends upon 
me, by a renewal of the proposition which was in ques- 
tion three years ago respecting the c^xtension of privi- 
leges to the Catholics ; but I cannot help seeing that, 
although ray own conduct, under all circumstances, is 
fixedj there may arise moments of difficulty in which, 





if this coitntiy remains diviJed by powerfol partieg, the 
a^tatian of this question may be productive of great 
ineoiivenience aod embarrassment. The formation of 
sucli a syjj'tem as I have supposed would, I eoaceive, 
among other advantages, effer-tually remove tliis source 
of aaxiety, as I certainly can never suppose or wish it 
to be formed on any other ground but that of aD those 
who might form part of the Administiation joining in 
the same determination with myself to endeavom* to 
prevent the renewal of any sueli discussion. 

These are the chief considerations which have led me 
to the clear and conscientious conviction that notliing 
is so likely to ensure His Majesty's personal repose and 
comfort, and the f«tin*e prosperity and glory of his 
reign, as the plan which I have thus taken the Uberty 
of submitting to Ilis Majesty's consideration ; and I am 
therefore most deeply anxious that, after full reflection, 
His Majesty may deem it not unworthy of his appro- 
bation. In that event it would become my duty to 
entreat His Majesty's permission, before I entered 
further on any details, to converse lioth ^^ith Lord 
Grenville and with Mr. Fox, in order to learn how far 
it might be practicable to submit, for His Majesty's 
consideration, any arrangement wliich might include 
them, and a proportion of those who act with them, 
together with some of His Majesty's present servants, 
and other persons to whom I might wish to draw His 
Majesty's favourable attention. 

I have now only to request that your Lordship will 
have the goodness to take the first convenient oppor- 
tunity of laying this representation of my sentiments 
before His Majesty, together with the humble assumnces 
of my constant sentiments of respect, duty, and attach- 
ment towards His Majesty, and of my deep and grateftil 
sense of His Majesty's condescension and goodness in 



the grafiotis commimication wliicli I Lad the honour of 
receiving through your Lordship. I have thought that 
this mode of submitting my opinion in the first iiastance 
for His Majesty's consideration at his most convenient 
leisure, was that of which His Majesty would not dis- 
approve. I trust I may be perinitted to hope, before 
His Majesty's final decision on the subject, he will allow 
me to have the honour of personally submitting to His 
Majesty any further explanation wliicli any part of the 
subject may appear to require ; aud I cannot help also 
flattering myself that the whole tenor of what I have 
stated will appear consistent with that zeal and devotion 
for His Majesty's service wliich it has been my uniform 
wish tliat His Majesty should experience in every part 
of my conduct. 

I am, with great regard, &c., 

W. Pitt. 

Queen's Palace, May 5, 1804, 

The King has through the channel of the Lord 
Chancellor expressed to Mr. Pitt his approbation of that 
gentleman's seJitiments of personal attachment to His 
Majestjv and his ardent deaire to support any measure 
that may be conducive to the real interest of the King 
or of his Royal Family ; but at the same time it cannot 
but be lamented that Mr, Pitt should have taken so 
rooted a dishke to a gentleman who has the greatest 
claim to approbation from his King and comitr}^ for his 
most dihgent and able dischai'ge of the duties of Speaker 
of the House of Commons for twelve years ; and of his 
still more handsomely coming forward (when Mr» Pitt 
and some of his colleagues resigned their employments) 
to support his King and country when the most in- 
digested and daugerouja proposition ^as brought forwaiti 



by the enemies of the Established Church, His Majesty 
has too good an opmion of Mr, Pitt to think he could 
have given his countenance to such a measure, had he 
weighed its tendency with that attention which a man 
of his judgment should call forth when the subject 
under consideration is of so serious a nature; but the 
King knows how strongly the them two Secretaries of 
State who resigned at that period had allied themselves 
to the Roman Catholics: the former,^ by his privata 
correspondence with a former Lord Lieutenant of Ire- 
land,^ showed tliat he was become the follower of all the 
wild ideas of Mr* Burke ; and the other,* from obBtinacy» 
his usual director. 

The King can never forget the wound that was in- 
tended at the Palladium of our Church Establishment, 
the Test Act, and the indelicacy, not to call it worse, 
of wanting His ]\Iajesty to forego his solemn Coronation 
Oath. He therefore here avows that he shall not be 
eatisfied unless Mr. Pitt makes as strong assurances of 
his determinatiou to support that wise law, as Mr. Pitt 
in so clear a manner stated in ITOG in the House of 
Commons, viz., that the smallest alteration of that law 
I would be a death wound to the British Constitution. 

The whole tenor of Mr. Fox's conduct since he quitted 
his seat at the Board of Treasury, when under age, and 


* Mr. D^ndaa. 

' The roferoncG aoems here to 
be to Lend Wiistmorl'md, and to 
the period of 1793 and 1794. Mr. 
Eoee, in reporting Iik loDg conver- 
sation with the King at Weyuiouth 
ia September, 1804, miys : " I am 
persuBurled Hib Majf^sty felt imcom- 
fortably on Lbe eubjeet of tlie let- 
teitj Ms LrirflBhip (Melville) ^Tot<3 
to Lord 'Wetotmorkmd relative to 


the question of Catliohc Emanci- 
pation while the latter -wiih Ix>rd 
Lit+utenant of Ii-ekod — which let- 
ters Hia Miijestj^ ttdd me Lord 
Westmorliind had ghovsii to him, 
keeping them, with the others ho 
ha<i received on the same point, 
honiid up in a volume." (DiariuSi 
vol. ii. p. 1G4.) 
* Lord Grenville. 


more particularly at the Whig Club and other factious 
lueetiugs, rendered his expukion from the Privy Council 
indispensable, aiid obliges the King to express his as- 
tijiiisliment that Sir. Pitt should one moment harbour 
the thought of bringing such a man before his Royal 
notice. To prevent the repetition of it, the King de- 
clares that if Mr. Pitt persists in such an idea, or in pro- 
posing to consult Lord GrenvillejHis Majesty will have 
to deplore that he cannot avail himself of the ability of 
Mr. Pitt with necessary restrictions. These points being 
understood, His Majesty does not object to Mr. Pitt's 
forming such a plan for conducting the pubhc business 
as may under all circumstances appear to be eligible; 
but should Mr* Pitt, unfortunately, find himself unable 
to undertake what is here proposed, the King will in 
that case call for the assistance of such men as are truly 
attached to our happy Constitution, and not seekers of 
improvements which to all dispassionate men must 
appear to tend to the destruction of that noble fabric 
which is the pride of all thinking minds, and the envy 
of all foreign nations. 

The King thinks it but just to his present servants 
to express his trust that aa far as the public service 
will permit, he may have the benefit of their further 

George E. 


Mk Pitt to the King. 

SiH, York Place, Sunday, May 6, 1804. 

I had yesterday the honour of receiving from 
the Lord (JluiDcellor your Majesty's letter, and am very 
sensible of your Majesty's condescension and goodness 
in deigning to renew the assuraocea of your approbation 
of the scutiments of duty and attachment which it has 



been nay wish to manifest towards your Majesty. At 
the same time I cannot refraia from expressing the deep 
concern witli wbicli I observe the manner in which my 
sentiments appear in some respects to have been mis- 
understood, and the unlavoiirable impression which 
yom* Majesty seems to entertain respecting parts of my 
conduct. Your Majesty will, I trust, permit me in the 
first pliiee to a.ssure you that the opinions I liave ex- 
pressed respecting the person now hokling the chief 
]>iaee in your Majesty's Government bave not arisen 
from any sentiments of personal dislike to that gentle- 
man ; they have been formed wholly on the view of 
bis public conduct, and rest on grounds which I bave 
already taken the liberty of hiying distinctly before 
your Majesty. 

On the subject of the proposal made in 1801 respect- 
' ing the Catholics, it has been far from my desire to re- 
new any detailed discussion ; but I feel it due to two of my 
former colleagues to express my pci-sutision that they 
were guided on that important occasion by very different 
motives from those which your Majesty has been led to 
impute to them ; and injustice to myself I must beg leave 
to declare that my opunon on that subject was formed on 
the fullest deliberation, and that the measure then 
suggested appeared to me, for the reasons which I have 
submitted at large to your Majesty, to be as much calcu- 
lated to confirm the security of the Established Church as 
to promote the general interest of the Empire, My 
opinion of the propriety and rectitude of the measure at 
the time it was proposed remains unaltered ; but other 
considerations, and sentiments of deference to your 
Majesty, have led me since to feel it both a personal and 
public duty to abstain from again pressing that measure 
on your Majesty's consideration. The bumble assm-ance 
of this determination on my part has been long since 


conveyed to your Majesty, and recently renewed ; and 
to that assurance, without any addition or alteration, I 
must humbly beg leave to adhere. 

It now remains for rae to express the extreme regret 
with which I learn your Majesty's strong disapprobation 
of the proposal which, on a new of the present state of 
affairs and of politieal parties, I thooght it my duty to 
submit to your Majesty, for forming at the present 
difficult crisis a strong and comprehensive Government, 
uniting the principal weight and talents of public men 
of all descriptions. I have abeady stated that if, on 
full consideration, your Majesty should object to any 
part of that pro]3osal5 I am ready to acquiesce in that 
decision, and submit myself to your Majesty's com- 
mands ; but I, at the same time, expressed my hope 
that before your 3Iajesty*s final decision, I might be 
permitted ti) offer such farther explanation as the case 
may appear to require. On a point, therefore, of this liigh 
importance, I cannot but feel it an indispensable duty 
again to request that you would condescend personally 
to hear from me the explanation of those reasons which 
satisfy me that such a plan of Government is best calcu- 
lated to promote the only objects which I have at heaii; 
on this occasion — the lasting ease and honour of your 
Majesty's Government, the security and prosperity of 
the country, and the general interest of Europe, Un- 
less your Majesty should so far honour me with your 
confidence as to admit me into your presence for this 
purpose^ I am grieved to say that I cannot retain any 
hope that my feeble services can be employed in any 
manner advantageous to your Majesty's affaii-s, or satis- 
factory to my own miiid. 

I am, &c.f 

W. Pitt. 





Mr. Pitt to the King, 

May 9, 1804/ 

Mr» Pitt humbly begs leaye to acquaint your Majesty 
that he finds Lord Grenville and his friends decline 
forming a part of any arrangement in which Mr. Fox is 
not incbided. Mr. Pitt hopes to be enabled by to- 
morrow to submit for your Majesty's consideration the 
most material parts of such a iilau of administration as, 
under these circumstances, he wishes humbly to pro- 
pose. In the mean time there are one or two poiuts 
on which he is anxious to receive your Majesty^s com- 
mands in- the course of to-day; and he will, therefore, 
iivail himself of your Maje^ty*8 gracious permission by 
Ittending at tlie Queen's House at half-past three, uu- 
less your Majesty should be pleased to appoint some 
other time. 

May 9,* 1804. 

The King has this instant received Mr. Pitt's note. 
He shall with great pleasure see Mr, Pitt at half-an- 
hour past three, which wUl enable him to prolong his 
airing. It is not without astoyiishment he sees by the 
Thma that the Opposition Meeting was held at Carlton 
House, Q^ R, 

May 13, 1804. 

The King's nature makes liim decisive and active 
when he thinks the public service or the honour of his 

^ Tlio Kinpf appears to have 
given Mr. Addington at tJie timG a. 
copy of tills Dote. It baa been 
publieliotl from tJmt copy by Deiwi 
PeUew, but with the crront^oua 
date of May 7, ^Life of Lord Sid- 

moutb, ToL iL p. 287.) 

« This letter of May 9 is the 
second addressed by the King to 
Mr, Fitt on the new admiiiiBtra- 
tion ; aud tliat of May 13 is the 



friends call for exertion. He knows those sentiments 
are most eongeoial to the disposition and character of 
his friend, and now most pleasing Chancellor of the 
Exchequer. His Majesty therefore wishes Mr. Pitt 
would come here ai5 soon as posBible, as he will promise 
not to detain him above a quarter of an hour, or at most 
half an hour. His Majesty is certain he can propose a 
Court arrangement that will save his honour as to Lord 
Hobart, whose conduct and attachment he cannot enough 
commend, and by that extricate Mr. Pitt from the diffi- 
cidty of finding some provision for that Lord which has 
undoubtedly been promised to him. The King saw 
him late the last evening, fnll of duty and desirous to be 
told what line of conduct he ought to hold, but very 
humbly wislimg to resign the Seals if that should not 
he thought inconvenient to the public service. Lord 
Hobart is not in the smallest degree apprised of the 
idea that has suggested itself to the King's mind, nor 
shall any one be apprised of it till BUs Majesty has seen 
Mr. Pitt. 

To the King. 
(From a '* Duplicate " in M>, Pitt'a writing.) 
SiK, Wednesday, May 16, 1804. 

Having received the enclosed opinion from your 
Majesty's physicians, we feel it an indispensable duty 
humbly to transmit it to your Majesty, and to implore 
your Majesty to give it your most serious attention. 
We take this step ironi the full persuasion that on your 
Majesty's strict and uniform compliance with what is 
here recommended, must depend the perfect re-establish- 
ment and preservation of your Majesty's health, and 
with ifc every thing t\iat \^ isiost important to your 



Majesty's p<3rsonal comfort, and to the oontmnance of 
|ie full and beneficial exercisD of your Majesty's Royal 
lautliority lor the happiness of your subjects. On these [\ 

ouuds we are sure your Jlajesty will pardon us if we 
express our most earnest aud anxious hope that while 
your Jlajesty allots to the transaction of important 
business such time as may be requisite, your Majesty 
will not suffer yourself to be fatigued by a greater por- 
tion of it than ia necessary; and will think it right ' 
carefully to avoid too frequent or protracted audiences 
aud conyersations, and to conform in other respects to 
such proper management as may be thought indis- 
pensably necessary to perfect and confirm your Majesty's 
recovery, and to guard against the danger of any re- 
lapse ; the apprehension of which, if these precautions 
were neglected, would become the source of continual 
anxiety and distress. 

We are. 
With the utmost deference and submission, &c., 

W, PittJ 

May 24, 1804. 

The King returns to Mr, Pitt the warrants, having 
signed them. He desires Mr. Pitt will appoint Mr, 
Canning to be here for presentation at half hour past 
three, as also any of the Lords of the Treasury and 
Admiralty that are in town : the King would be desirous 
of seeing Lord Melville for a short audience at the same 

The King sends one of the secret boxes which he has 
had new lettered to Mr. Pitt. If the two others be sent 

7 Among the MSS. there appears no reply to this lett^jr. 



here, they shall be lettered in the same manner by the 
bookbinders at the King's Library. No one but the 
King and Mr. Pitt has keys to these boxes, therefore 
they may be safely used by them* 

Gr. R. 

June 12, 1804. 

The King eamiot refrain from expressing to Mr. Pitt 
Ithat he thinks the increase of majority the last night 
[highly advantageous to the cause of good goYemment, 
and that the more he reflects on Mr. Pittas proposition 
now framing into a Bill in the House of Commons, the 
more he gees the judiciousness of the measure. He can- 
not think the line of conduct held by Mr. Addington is 
either wise or dignified. That of Mr. Yorke is open to 
more indulgence, he ha^dng been the adviser of all the 
alterations made in the mode of defence from the time 
of Lord Pelham's retiring frora the service, and the not 
being a little wedded to his own opinion, 


June 16» 1804. 

The King has no doubt but that, from the idea of no 
division being intended to take plac^ until ])kronday, 
it had too well operated on the willing minds of lazy 
men ; and perhaps a little more energy in the Secre- 
taries of the Treasury might also have a salutary 
effect ; for yesterday no notes had been sent to summon 
the attendance of the friends of good government. His 
Majesty trusts to the goodness of his cause, his own 
resolution to support the present administration mth 
all his might; and to the spirit, uprightness, and talents 
of Mr. Pitt: this combination scarcely can fail of 
success — at least it will deserve iL 




Kew, June 20, 1804. 

The King has received with the fxillest satisfection 

Jlr. Pitt s account of the ]^*efence Bill haying been read 

the third time after only a short debate, in which one 

is Borry to see Mr, Windham took a part ; but, tliough 

a man of a fine manly spirit, he seems by natnre more 

inclined to oppose than to concur in any opinion that 

arises from others. His Majesty trusts that the activity 

shown by Mr, Pitt on this trying occasion will enable 

him to carry on the public business with more despatch 

and, at the same time, ease to himself, than could at 

first have been expected. 

- G.B. 

Kew, June 23, 1804, 7*52 a.m. 

The King intends being this morning at the Queens 
Palace to receive his physicians. He will probably 
[remain there for a couple of hours, and therefore 
Welshes Mr. Pitt coidd call about twelve, as he is curious 
to learn some of the smaller colomings of conduct of 
Opposition, which could not well come within the 
compass of the note he has received from Mr. Pitt, 

G. R. 

p.S.^ — Since writing the above, the King has received 

Mr. Pitt's box with the favourable account of yester- 

I day's proceedings in the House of Commons, which 

make him the more desirous of seeing Mr. Pitt this day. 

a K 

Windsor, Aug. 2, 1804. 

The King felt no fatigue from the ceremony of Tues- 
day, as he was conscious he was acting as he ought; 
and the sentiments of the Speech were so thorougldy 
his own that they could not but invigorate him. 



Weymoutli, Aug. 26, 1804. 

The King, on the applicatioB of Mr. Pitt, does not 
object to Lieut.-General I^ake s being created a British 
Peer far the great successes in India; nor does he do 
so with regard to Brigadier-General Welsloy's^ being 
honoured with an extra riband of the Order of the 
Bath, provided Major-General Moore, to whom our suc- 
cesses in Egypt are chieHy owing, and Commodore 
Samuel lloodj obtain the same honour, and be senior to 
Brigadier-General Welsley. 

As to Mr, Pitf s inquiries as to the King's health, it 
is perfectly good, and the quiet of the place and salu- 
brity of the air must daily increase his strength. By 
the ad\dce of Sir Francis Jlilman, who is here, the 
King will bathe in the tepid bath, in lieu of the going 
into the open sea. His Majesty feels this a sacrifice, 
but will rehgiously stick to this advice, but does not 
admire the reasoning, as it is grounded on sixty-six 
being too far advanced in life for that remedy proving 

G- R. 

Cufihells, Oct 31, 1804. 

The King is much pleased at Mr, Pitt's being able to 
keep ofi* the meeting of the Parhament unless some 
account from Spain should produce an earlier meeting 
than in January. His Majesty is certain this addition 
to the Eeccss of Parliament must iiifim'tely please the 
country gentlemen, and is no real delay to public busi- 
ness, as seldom more is done before Christmas tlian 
voting those supplies which the exigencies of the hour 

• ThTasmtheMS. 



Mr, Pitt to the King, 

Putney Hill, Deo. 17, 1804. 

Mr. Pitt 18 anxious without delay humbly to aeqtiamt 
your Majesty that^ having been led by the approach of 
the Session of Parliament caroAilly to reconsider the 
state of political parties, and the degree of support on 
which Government can rely, he is impressed with a 
fitrong conviction that, altlioiigh there is no reason to 

'donbt of a sufficient majority to resist the attempts of 
Opposition^ and to carry through the ordinary business 
of Government, considerable embarrassment miglit ariBB 
with respect to the vigorous and decisive measures 
which appear likely to be requisite for the advanta- 
geous prosecution of the war. He therefore considers 
it an object of great importance to secure, if possible, | 

' gome material accession of strength before the opening \ 
of the Session ; and as he sees no mode of obtaining it 
which is, on the whole, likely to be so advantageous 
imder the present circumstances, or so conformable to 
what he knows to be your Majesty's sentiments, as to 
endeavour t-o reunite the friends of Mr, Addington in 
the support of Government, he tlnnks that he should be 
wanting in what is due from him to your Majesty's 
service if he suffered any personal impression arising 
from past transactions to stand in the way of such an 
arrangement. Should your Majesty approve in general 
of tliis suggestion, Mr. Pitt will have the honour on 
Wednesday of submitting to your Majesty more parti- 
cularly his ideas on the subject. In the mean time he 
takes the liberty of adding that he has had occasion to 
learn that Mr. Addington's feelings correspond very 
much with his own. 



Windsor, Dec. 18, 1804. 

The King cannot omit one moment after reading the 
note of Mr. Pitt to express his joy at seeing the very 
proper state of Mr. Pitt*a mind in suggesting a willing- 
ness to call forth the assistance of Mr. Addington and 
his friends to the support of Government. His Majesty 
has, from the first hour of meeting Mr. Pitt the last 
spring to engage him again into public h*fe, intimated 
a desire of being the restorer of two friends to that 
state of aflection which would be most gratifying to his 
own feelings, as well as advantageous to the ease of 
carrying on the public business. 

The King cannot conclude without suggesting his 
long-formed and, he believes, just opinion, that a pen- 
sion for life, for liis most upright and diligent discharge 
of the duties of Speaker of the House of Comraoos, is 
the true reward Mr. Addington should obtain, which 
would please the House of Commons, who have ever 
applied for such a provision in the case of his predeces- 
sors on retfring, who had not half his merit ; and in the 
present instance it would flatter Hia Majesty's feeling, 
as the proposition cannot with propriety be brought 
forward but by a Message from the Crown, and the 
motion to be made on it stated by Mr. Pitt, of whose 
I services to the public none has been more predominant 
ithan the proposing Mr. Addington, then a young man, 
for Speaker of the House of Commons, 

a B. 

Windsor, Deo. 25, 1804, 

The King has received from Lord Hawkesbury the 
much-wislied-for account of Mr. Pitt having seen Mr* 
Addington ttt Coombe Wood on Sunday, and tliat he is 
convinced their early habitudes of cordial aflection are 


renewed. Tliis gives the King tbe more satisfaction as 
he is fully sensible tliat their personal attachment to 
iliim and to this country are the true causes of this most 
[gratifying work. His Majesty could not refrain from 
[giving Mr, Pitt this ^mtten testimony of his approba- 
I tion, and has done the same to Mr* Aldington. 

G. R 

Windsor, Jan. 13, 1805. 
The King receives with great pleasure Mr, Pitt's 
accoimt of the very good disposition in which he found 
t!ie Duke of Portland, of which there cannot be a 
stronger testimonial than the letter His Majesty has 
got from him this morning. The King haa availed 
himself of Mr* Pitt's hint, and has in this answer 
strongly pressed him to continue a member of the 

a R, 

Jan, 16, 1805. 

The King is most happy to find the motion for the 

Address was moved and seconded mth propriety. He 

does not think the speeches of Messx-s* Fox and Wind- 

[iam can have been either necessary or have much 

weight with the House of Commons, 

Jan. 31, 1B05. 

The King, on receiving Mr. Pitt's note, has directed 
Lord Hawkeshury to have the necessary instruments 
prepared for translating the Bishop of Norwich to the 
Archbishopric of Canterbury. The Bishopric of Norwich 
is worth £3200 per annum, therefore may prove an 
agreeable transition to those of the less valuable sees. 



March 7, 1B05, 

The King is highly satisiicd at Mr. Sheridan's motion 
for repealing the Act of tbe last Session of Parliament 
for raising an additional force having met with the fate 
it deserved. It is lamentable that Mr, Windham shonld 
BO thoroughly, from views of opi^sition, forget that war 
is the principle on which he ought to pin his faith, and, 
consequently, if he had any idea of consistency, not 
join in reducing any means that can be proposed with a 
view to rendering the defence of the kingdom effectnai 

G. R. 

Windsor, April 9, 1805. 

The King, though much grieved at the cause, is not 
nnmindful of the great propriety of Mr, Pitt in ac- 
quainting him instantly of the fate of the motion of 
censure on Lord Melville for having suffered Mr. 
Trotter to derive benefit from balances of the public 
money. His Majesty trusts that in Lord Melville there 
has been no culpability, though there has been a great 
want of caution; and, in truth, the letter of exculpa- 
tion he has lately published has not much mended the 
appearance. His Majesty would not act as ingenuously 
in return if he did not mention the names that at the 
moment occur to him as worthy consideration as heads 
of the Board of Admiralty- — the Earl of Chatham, Lord 
Castlereagh, and Mr. Yorke ; and, if a professional 
man, Lord Gardner ; but the King means to be totally 
unbiassed to receive the name of any one of these, or 
any other person whom Mr. Pitt, on duo consideration, 
may think best suited to support his administration 



Windsor, April 10, 1805. 

The King has received this morning Lord Melville's 
reBio:iiation of his seat at the Board of Admiralty. He 
thinks it highly right that Jlr, Pitt should take due 
time to consider who best can fill that essential situ- 
ation ; for the person most prejndieed against Lord 
Melville, if he could view the whole of his exertions at 
the Board of Admiralty, must acknowledge that in this 
department ho has most fnlly done his duty. The pre- 
sent Recess will give Mr, Pitt due time to examine and 
propose such arrangement as may be most conducive to 
the public service. 

G. R 

Windsor, April 22, 1805. 

The King, from the moment of the unfortunate 
necessity of Lord Melville's resigning his seat at the 
Board of Admiralty, had no object but that Mr. Pitt 
should recommend as successor the person best qualified 
to supply the vacancy. As Mr. Pitt, on the whole, 
thinks Sir Charles Middleton answers that description, 
His Majesty will not object to it, nor to his being 
advanced to the rank of a Baron, but his attending 
Cabinet Meetings ought to be confined to subjects 
regarding the na\"y. At the same time the King 
thinks that it would be advisable, on this addition to 
the Peerage, to advance also Mr. Lygon, the Member 
for the county of Worcester, whose excellent character, 
steady support of Government, and very large fortune, 
place him in a situation without just competitors. 

G. E. 


Windsor, April 26, 1805. 

The King is most highly delighted with Mr. Pitt's 
account that the continuation of Mr. Whitbread's 
asperity was checked yesterday by a majority of 78 ; 
and, on a second division, a Committee chosen by 
ballot carried by a majority of 131. His Majesty looks 
upon this issue of this event as solely owing to the 
temper and correct line of conduct held in the whole of 
this untoward business by Mr. Pitt. 
J The King is sorry to see that the City of London so 
far outstrips its true line of duty as to be coming for- 
ward in this business, which no ways regards personally 
that body. He trusts Mr. Pitt will settle with Lord 
Hawkesbury the proper answer: it should be very 
general and temperate, and not one to encourage the 
repetition of becoming haranguers on subjects not pro- 
perly coming under their cognizance. Wednesday will 
be the day for receiving this Address. 

G. E. 

Windsor, April 30, 1805. 

The King is much pleased with the issue of the 
debate of yesterday, as stated by Mr. Pitt, and doubts ! 
not that, with temper, the heat that has unfortunately • 
been kindled in the House of Commons, by an incau- '\ 
tion to be lamented, not defended, will soon subside. 
His Majesty cannot conclude without mentioning that 
till yesterday he had not the smallest idea that any 
uneasiness had subsisted in any part of the adminis- 
tration, and then he heard all was amicably adjusted. ', 
He thinks it but justice to his own sentiments to declare 
that, had any disunion arisen, he should have deci- r. 
dedly taken part with. Mr. Pitt, as he has every reason i 



to be satisfied with his conduct from the hour of his 
returning to his service. 

The King will not be at Kew this day, but has ap- 
3inted Lord Hawkesbiiiy to-morrow moraing at eleven 
at the Queen 8 Palace. 

G. R. 

Windsor, May 5, 1805. 

Though the King is much hurt at the virulence 
against Lord Melville, which is unbecoming the character 
of Englishmen, who natiu-ally when a man is fallen are 
too noble to pursue their blows, he must feel the pru- 
dence and good temper of Mr. Pitt's proposing his being 
struck out of the Privy Council, and it is hoped after 
that the subject will be buried in oblivion* 

His Majesty authorizes IMr. Pitt not only to give the 
proposed notice this day to the House of Commons, but 
to give the proper notice that a Privy Council will be 
held at the Queen's Palace on Thursday, at two o clock. 



"Windsor, May 14, 1805. 

Tlie King is not surprised, considering the enormous 
length to which gentlemen permit themselves to spin 
out their speeches, that it shoidd have been necessary 
to adjourn the debate on the Catholic question from 
two this morning to the usual hour of meeting this day : 
it seems wonderful that the fatigue dwjs not incline 
gentlemen to compress their ideas in a shorter space, 
which must ever be more agreeable and nsefiil to the 
auditors, and not less advantageous to the despatch of 


Kew, May 15, 1805. 

The King is -most extremely rejoiced at the great 
majority with which Mr. Fox's motion for a committee 
on the Catholic petition has been rejected, and he trusts 
that such decided majorities in both Houses of Parlia- 
ment so strongly show the sense of the kingdom on 
this most essential question, which His Majesty is con- 
fident if the opinions of the people without doors could 
be known would prove still a larger majority on this 
occasion, that he trusts it will never be brought forward 


June 12, 1805. 

The King has great satisfaction in having just learnt 
from Mr. Pitt the appearance of the House of Commons 
yesterday, on Mr. Whitbread's motion for impeaching 
Lord Melville, and on the amendment of Mr. Bond for 
a prosecution in lieu of it, both of which he thinks can 
most justly be resisted. No one more sincerely blames 
the incorrectness of Lord Melville's conduct, but no one 
can be more adverse to any further measures being 
taken against him. All that is necessary for example 
to futurity has been done, and anything more is a 
wanton punishing of a, fallen man, which is not the 
usual conduct of an Englishman, who never strikes his 
enemy when at his feet. 

Gr. K, 

Weymouth, Sept. 15, 1805. 

The King perfectly coincides with Mr. Pitt as to the 
fitness of Mr. Long for the office of Secretary in Ireland, 



but strongly recommends to Mr, Pitt the being very 
careful to choose a man of business to supply his situa- 
tion at tlio Board of Treasury. His Majesty's sight will 
not allow him to add more, as though he gains some 
grountl, he can neither read what is written to him nor 
what he writes.^ 

G. R. 

Windsor, Nov. 11, 1805. 

The King cannot refrain from just expressing to 
Mr, Pitt the joy he feels at the good news now forwarded 
to him of the capture of four of the line-of-battle ships 
that had escaped on the 21st of last month. His Majesty 
has just received from Lord Hawkesbury an extract of 
Lord Nelsons Will concerning his funeral, which has 
enabled directions to be given for his being buried at 
St. Paid*s with military honours, which the brilliancy 
of the victory seems to call for. 

G. R. 

Colonel Merhert Taylor to Lord CastUreagK 

Windsor, Dec. 20, 1805. \ 
I have had the honour of la}^ng before His Majesty '' 
the various papers which accompanied your Lordship *s 

• A great change of hand-writiDg 
appears in tliis letter and all tJiose 
of etibaequeDt tbte* It lias grown 
much birger, imd the cliaiuctera are 
very indititinct and 01 formed* This 
was owing to tho failure of eye- 
sight Wlien at Cuffnella m Oe- 
tober, " His Majesty," eaya Mr* 
Uoee, " told me that he had nearly 

lost the sight of tiia right eye, anil 
that it waa with the greatest difli- 
eulty he could read a newspaper 
by candle-light with any epectaclea 
ho could get." (Diaries, ko., vol. ii. 
p, 196.) Since November. 1805, 
the King found it necessary to em- 
ploy Colonel Herbert Taylor as his 
Secretary and AmanuensiM, 


letter on the subject of the late events in Moravia,^ for 
the communication of which I am commanded to return 
you many thanks. His Majesty considers them ex- 
tremely interesting, and as all tending to confirm the 
reports transmitted yesterday of the successful result of 
the arduous contest of the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th instant. 

1 The report, which proved utterly unfounded, of a great victory over 
the French near Austerlitz. 



[Tbe Romui latten refer to the rolume, the Anklilc flgtuw to the p^4 

ABB^fTt Charles, a warm friend of 
Additigt/jn, iii. "291. Entries Ln his 
Diiiry, 81H. Named Secri*tary for 
Irt^liind, 322. Elected Speaker, 


Abeucbomby, Sir Ralph, recalled 
from Lrelftnd, iii* 121. Liindd on 
tile Dutch coix^t, 19ti, Hia expi)- 
dition to Egy^it, 33G, 

AsAiii, Sir Itubart* goes to Fe- 
te raburg, 11. 119. 

Ai>A-M8» Williiim Dacies, liia apt 
miofutjon, iv. 51. AppointL^ by 
Pitt his PriTatu Secrettiiy, 192. 

Addikgton, I>r.» his pre^cripjdon of 
port-wine, i 12. His intemows 
with Sir James Wright, 23. 

Addington, Hemy^ chosen Speaker^ 
ii. oa. Hie ijii edition to Pitt, 255, 
His anxicity dnrin^ Pitt's duel, hi. 
131. Reoeivca Pitt at Woodley, 
246. Becomes Prime Minister, 
276. His new appointments, 290. 
Hia diameter, Sll). Complained 
of by mtt, 3tJ9. Hia first Budget, 
^S75.* Hia second, 425. Viaited 
by Pitt, 430. Questioned by Lf>rd 
Malmcabnrv, iv. 18. Hia message 
to Walmer Gi^tle, 21. Makes 
fresh overtures to Pitt, 26. Their 
meeting at Bromley, 32. Aliena- 
tion between them, 3fJ. Hiij 
Budget on the renewid of the 
war, 61, Determine to resign, 
160. JIis paii2Eg interview witk 

the King, 194- Reconciled witli 
Pitt, 236, Becomes President of 
the Council and a Peer. See 


Albaxy, Countess, applies for a 
pension, ii. 18L 

Alyanley, Lord (see Arden), liis 
death, iv. 133. 

Anti' jacobin, account of the, lii. 84. 

Ardest, Richard Pt^ppcr, an early 
friend of Pitt, i. 52. Moves bis 
Writ for Appleby, 156. Nameti 
Sohcitor - General, 160. And 
Master of tlie Rolls, 378. And 
a Peer, iii, 322. See Alvakley. 

Arnold, General, Ixis duel with Lord 
Lauderdale, IL 158. 

Auckland, Lord (aee W, Eden), hia 
letters from the Hague, iL 63. 
And from Beekenliam, iii. 2, De- 
aenbea Pitt's atate of health, 138. 
His pollticjd. views, 207. The 
King'a opinion of him, 291. His 
aspersion on Pitt, 325. Increase 
of his peusiouB, tv. 23(). 


BANKE8, Hen 17, an early friend of 
Pitt, i. 52, rio. His statement on 
Pitt's behalf, IGO. ^ 

Ba.ii HAM, Lord (see Middletok), hia ^ 
inter\iew witli Nelaon, iv. 329. 

Barras, Paul, the chief of tlie<_'h Directory, iii 5S. HiB 
venality^ 61. 





Case of his pension, 179. His 
death, iii. 385. 

Bath, Marquis of, his reception of 
Pitt at Longleat, iii. 423. 

Bathurst, Lord, visited by Pitt, iii. 
423. His hint upon the Post 
Office, iv. 145. Accepts office, 

Bedford, Duke of, presses for peace, 
ii. 297. His character, 355. Pre- 
sides at the Whig Club, 361. His 
patriotic subscription, 390. His 
early death, iii 371. 

Belgraye, Lord, his motion in praise 
of Pitt, iii. 377. 

Berespord, John, consulted by Pitt, 
1. 264. Dismissed by Lord Fitz- 
william, ii. 300. His duel, 309. 
In correspondence with Lord 
Auckland, iii. 2. Agrees to sup- 
port the Union, 168. 

Bolixgbroke, Lord, Pitt's opinion 
of his writings, i. 18. 

Bonaparte, General, his command 
at Toulon, ii. 207. And at Paris, 
351. His Italian campaigns, 376. 
Signs a peace at Leoben, iii 13. 
Conquers Egypt, 140. Invades 
Syria, 192. Returns to France, 

202. Proclaimed First Consul, 

203. His overtures for peace, 207. 
His victory of Marengo, 238. Con- 
verses with Fox, 386. His system 
of aggrandisement, 397. His in- 
terviews with Lord Whitworth, iv. 
14-19. Rejects the British ulti- 
matum, 42. Plans the invasion of 
England, 77. His charges against 
Messrs. Drake and Spencer Smith, 
197. Proclaimed Emperor, 198. 
See Napoleon. 

Bourne, W. Sturges, named Secre- 
tary of the Treasury, iv. 191. His 
reports of Pitt's health, 373. 

Braxfield, Lord, Ids discreditable 
Charge, ii. 212. 
• Bridge water, Duke of, his patriotic 
subscription, ii. 390. 

Bridport, Lord, commands the 
Channel Fleet, iii. 24. Quells its 
Mutiny, 28. 

Bristol, Earl of, his course in Ire- 
land, i. 260, 262. 

Bristol, Bishop of, TQiaapp\ic$v.\a.oTiV> 
Pitt. iv. 253. 

Brothers, the Prophet, account of, 
ii. 315. 

Brlnswick, Duke of, his imprudent 
Manifesto, ii. 164. Retreats from 
Champagne, 169. 

Buckingham, Marquis of (see 
Temple), named Lord Lieutenant 
of Ireland, i. 351. His reply to 
the Irish Parliament, ii. 28. Cltums 
a Dukedom, 40. Retires into pri- 
vate life, 42. 

BuRDETT, Sir Francis, his first ap- 
pearance in Parliament, iii 40. 
Inveighs against Pitt, 375. His 
advice to Ministers, iv. 66. 

Burke, Edmund, Pitt's criticism on 
one of his speeches, i 38. His 
criticism' on one of Pitt's, 58, 76. V 
Assails Lord Shelbume, 89. His > 
great speech on the India Bill, 
142. An adversary of Warren. 
Hastings, 296. His violence on 
the Regency question, iL 6, 13. 
Composes a letter for the Prince, 
18. His intemperate sallies, 23. 
Vote of censure on one of his 
speeches, 33. His differences 
with Fox, 46. His Essay on the 
French Revolution, 66. Taunts 
Erskine, 83. His estrangement 
from Fox, 94. Retires from Par- 
liament, 244. His pension, 245. 
His thanks to Pitt, 321. As- 
sailed by two Peers, 865. His 
" Ijctters on a Regicide Peace," 
373. His death, iii. 50. 

Burke, Richard, Secretary to the 
Roman Catholic Committee, ii 
101. His death, 244. 

Burns, Robert, admiration of Pitt 
for his lyrics, L 250. His pension, 
iv. 408. 


Calonne, M. de, sees Pitt at Wim- 
bledon, i. 346. Minister of the 
Emigrant Princes, ii. 134. 

Camden, Lord, his position in 1781, 
i. 51. Refuses office, 165. Be- 
comes Lord President, 235. And 
an Earl, 307. Moves the Second 
Reading of the Libel Bill, ii. 147. 



SLa Mr. Pmtt an early fiictid of 
Pitt, i. 52, im. Named Lord 
Lieutenant of Ireland, ii 307. 
Hia despatclves, iii, 8. And Pro- 
Loiamations, 106, Returns to Eng- 
fland, 121. Rwdvea Pitt at WU- 
iemeaa, iii.431, iv* 39* A?erse to 
iddington'tj junction, 239. Oflerts 
' ( kouj9e to Pitt, 371. 

Camklford, Thomiid, tirdt Lord (see 
T. Pirr), hiA last letter to Pitt, ii, 
181. Dies at Florence, 182. 

CAMKtroHD, Thomaa, second I-ord, 
joins the Opposition, iii. 212. 
Alone to vote witli Stanhope, 
218, Kille<i in a duel, iv. 133, 

Cakninq, George, apfyointud Under 
Secretary of State, ii. 401. Foimdij 
the Anll-jacohtn^ iii. 84. Hia elo- 
quent speeches, 212. Reaign8, 
2Sj. In eommuniciition with 
Lord Malniesbury, liOh!. HLs cha- 
racter, 314. Writes "The pilot 
that wt^athered tlie atorui>" 380. 
Projects Pitts return to office, 
407, Answers *Sheridan, 418. Sap- 
ports Colonel Patten a motion, iv. 
55. llid satirical poi'try, 58. Hiij 
views aa to office, 191, Oon- 
dcmna the laiit arlniiiiiHtjation. 
209- Deairea to reaign, 244, De- 
fenda Lord Melvilk\ 277, De- 
L«gned for the Cabinet, 352. His 
IlKjem on Trafalgar, 350, Hia last 
letters t» Pitt, 3tj4, 372. Hi« in- 
flcriptiou on Pitt'8 statue, 42L 

Caiimabthen, M^rquia of, his cha- 
racter in oUiee, L 311. His view 
of Dtiteh atfairs, 340. Ilia remi- 
nisce uces of offiee, 402. Becomes 
Diike of Leeckp ii, 51. See Leeds. 

Carolink of IlrimHwick, her mar- 
riage with the Prince of Wale a, 
ii. 315, Deserted by hiin, 3ij7. 
Pitt her earliejjt defender* iv. 228. 

CARRiNfTTON, Lord (wee R. Smith), 
oalnmny againBt him repelled, iii. 
r 81- Named Cftptain of Deal 
Oaiitle, iv. 10. Receives Pitt at 
W^yeoDibe, 39, Expects him 
tliere aj^ain, 351. 

CARTWRLJiir, Major John, a keen 
reformer, ii, 155. 

CASTLK^£EAGU, Lor<l, his first speech, 
iL 355. Appointi^d Inah Secre- 

tary, iit. 123. His temper and 
judgment, 148, 150. Moves the 
Act of Union, 17in 223, His let- 
ter to Pitt, 2tij, HiB resi Ration 
of olBce, 27ti. Named President 
of the hmnl of Control, 384. 
Gonsoita Pitt at Bath, 427, Hi^s 
eoldnosfl com plained of, iv. tJU. 
Hia correspotidenee witii Pitt, 9U, 
95. And with Lord Wellealey, 
182. Named Secretary of Stat© 
for War, 315. Confers with Pitt, 
337. Pitts htat letter to him, 3Gt>. 

Catamarans, the, tlaeir failure, iv. 

CATHiittiNE II,, her warfare with 
Turkey, ii. 101, Threatens Eng- 
hmd, 112. Welcomes Mr. Adair, 
120. Her deaith, 105, 

C.vvENDtsif, Lord Jolm, named 
OhuTieellor of the Exchet^uer, i. 
70. Resit^, 78. Loses his elec- 
tion, 200. 

CnARLi>TrE, Princess, her birth, ii* 

Chatham, William, lirst Earl of, his y* 
care of hid sou s education, i. 6, ' 
8, 9. His death, 2L His opkuoim 
on " oIig:arcliieal party," 80. Ami 
on the Russiun aihance, ii, 101. 

Chatham, Hester, Countess of, lier 
account of her son William, i. 4. 
Arrears in her pension, 34. Urn 
raised by her to her hustlmnd s 
memory, 39. At Hayes, 08. At 
Burton PjTisent, I2t>. Embur- 
rasament of her atfjiir*, 231, 27D. 
Keceives a visit from Wilherforee, 
ii. 123. Compares lier son ami 
her hosbfiud, 124. Letter from 
Ler to Pitt, iii. 187, Her death 
and character, iv. 30. 

Chateiam, John, second Earl of, 
u. Lieutenant in the army, i, 4. 
Takes his se^t in the Tjords, 30. 
His courtship, 81, 121. And 
marriage, 125. Appointed First 
Iford of the Admin dty, 377. 
Transferred to the Pri^y Seal, ii. 
274. Becomes Lord President, 
383. His vote upon the Slavt? 
Tmde, iii. 185, Serves iu Hol- 
land, 198. Consults his brother, 
iv. 3, 25. H.\ii \\a\\» ^\.Ni4vi\\\v^!X„ 




Chief Mourner at the public fu- 
neral, 396. 

Chevaucher, discussion on the word, 
iv. 98. 

Glare, Earl of^ his energetic cha- 
racter, iii. 104. His eloquent 
speeches, 110. Desires a measure 
of amnesty, 148, 150. Against 
the Roman Catholic claims, 159. 
His great speech in favour of the 
Union, 226. 

Clarkson, Thomas, urges the abo- 
lition of the Slave Trade, i. 367, 

CoLLiNGwooD, Admiral, at the bat- 

V tie of St. Vincent, iii. 11. And 

\ at Trafalgar, iv. 341. 

i ' Conway, General, inveighs against 

Pitt, i. 175. Loses his election, 206. 

CoRNWALLis, Earl, afterwards Mar- 
quis, goes to India, i. 305. His 
warfare against Tippoo, ii. 88. 
Declines a political office, 121. 
Goes to Brussels, 257. Receives 
a Marquisate, 298. Named Lord 
Lieutenant of Ireland, iii. 121. 
His policy, 147, 150, 1591 265. 
Resigns, 276. His inconsiderate 
letter, 288. Sent to Amiens, 354. 
Signs the Treaty of Peace, 374. 
Goes again to India, iv. 230. 

CoRRY, Isaac, Chancellor of the 
Exchequer in Ireland, iii. 223. 
His duel with Grattan, 226. 

CouRTENAY, T. P., his pamphlet, 
iv. 92. 

Crewe, Mrs., her remark on Pitt's 
administration, i. 167. 

CuRRAN, John Philpot, his elo- 
quence at the bar, ii. 224. 


Daer, Lord, his character and for- 
tunes, ii. 215. 

Dent, John, his dog-tax, ii. 370. 

Despard, Colonel, account of his 
conspiracy, iii. 398. 

Devonshire, Georgiana, Duchess 
of, her canvass of Westminster, i. 

Dorset, Duke of, ambaaaadoi at 
Paris, i. 287. His fiov^aiOi ^io^- 
duct at Cambridge, ii. 1^1. 


Dumouriez, General, commands in 
Champagne, ii. 169. His victory 
at Jemmapes, 171. His seces- 
sion, 195. 

Duncan, Admiral, mutiny in his 
fleet, iii. 37. His victory at Cam- 
perdown, 69. A jovial compa- 
nion, 74. 

DuNDAS, Henry, the early adver- 
sary of Pitt, i. 61, 65. Rise of 
the friendship between them, 103, 
107, 111. His BiU on the for- 
feited Estates. 225. Chief of the . 
India Board, 227. His speech on /f 
the BohUla Charge, 300. His 
early life and character, 309. 
Appointed Secretary of State, ii. 
121. Letters tx) him from the 
King, 160. And from Pitt, 176. 
Desires to resign, 252. His con- 
versation with the King, iii. 178. 
His account of the Cabinet, 242. 
His view of Addington's govern- 
ment, 280. Created a Peer, 426. 
See Melville. 

Ddnning, John, his eminence at tlie 
Bar, i. 51. Created Lord Ash- 
burton, 70. 

Eden, William, supports the Coali- 
tion of Fox and North, i. 95. His 
views of American trade, 110. 
Joins Pitt's party, 287. Nego- 
tiates a treaty with France, 316. 
Created Lord Auckland, ii 36. 
See Auckland. 

Eden, Hon. Eleanor, Pitt's attach- 
ment to, iii. 1. Her marriage, 4. 

Eldon, Lord (see J. Scott), his 
view of the Coronation Oath, iii. 
263. Becomes Chancellor, 291. j 
Avows his attachment to Pitt, f 
316. Their dinner tete-a-tete^ iv. 
132. Further communications 
between them, 153, 156, 161, 167, 
175. His reminiscences, 348. 

Eloin, Earl of, account of his con- 
ference with Pitt, iv. 400. 

Eliot, Hon. Edward, an early friend 
of Pitt, i. 52, 117. Goes with him 

V X^^x^TXR-^^Yi*^. Marries his sister, 


XXXI 11 

con iJnucfl ^rief, 315, 321. Retires 
from the Treasury, ii. 219, His 
douth, iii. *>i. 

Eliot, Hon. John, opposes Tierney, 
ul 219. 

Elliot, Sir Gilbert, proposed for 
SpcAteTj ii. 20. Nftmed Vioeroy 
of CoraicA, 239. His impolitic 
coDiltict, 377. Created a Peer, 
ill. 8U. Bee Mtnto, 

Elliot, Hur^li, Jds tiecrotirttiona at 
Piirifl, ii 5<j. And at Gotbeubtirg, 

EwMETT, Bobert, hJtj ooBSpiracy in 
Ireland, iv. 71. Tried and exe- 
cuted, 74. 

Er.^ki>'i:, Thoron^. afterwardB Lord, 
hh llrst apeoch in ParliuniGrd, i. 
114, Bpeiika apun, 152. Loses 
his eleetion, SOU. Iliii attjiek 
upon Pitt, 'SilO. Heturud to the 
House of Conimon«, ii. 8.^. Hia 
I^e4tt ubilitv in the State Trials, 
2m, 273. tnrlinea to Pitt, iii. 75. 
Eidionled in the AHti-jiicohin, 85. 
t>pptj3C3 the Address, 212. 8eeka 
o Ri ee fro m Adding^ton , 3G7. Yiai is 
Paris, 387* Estntni^ed trom Fox, 
iv, 100. Foxa aeeouut of hinj, 
KB. Adheroij to the Prinee of 
W>d6fl, 133. Awed by Pitt at 
fiuildlmll, 347. 

Ensi\>N, Earl of, the colleague of 
Pitt at Cambridge, L 205. 

EwAMT, Joseph, hiH negotiations at 
Berlin, i. 380. In correfipoudence 
vith Htt, ii. 115. 


Fabquhak, Sir Walter, Pitt*a phy- 
sician and friend, lu. 244. His 
letter from Itaniagate, 31/2. With 
^ Pitt at Bixtli, iv. 369. And at 
\ Putney, 376, 383. 

FiTZGEP.ALD, Lord Edward, hia mia- 
«ioTi to France, hi. 90. Joiofl the 
United Iri^shraen, 102. Ilia arreat 
and death, 115. 

FiTJiHApjtis, Lord, Ilia reminiscencea 
of Pirt, iv. 283. 348. 

FiTi!iiERjji:KT, Mra-t sought bv the 
IMnce of Wales. 831» 334. ' Ap- 
pears at Hastiugs's Triali 355. 


ianreijor oi 
land, iv. 338. V" 

m first ac- JT 

,127. His 'I 

FiTZTiERBKRT, Alleyiie, hiB noc^otiii- 
tions at Miidrid, ii! 54. t>2. Created 
Lord St, Helen s, 85, 

FrrzvviLLTAM, Earl, becomes I^ord 
President, ii. 243. Detii^raed as 
Ijord Lieutenant, 281. Pivjceeda 
to Dublia, 2V)3. His preeipitate 
course, 300. Keturna to Euglaud, 
307. Hia duel, 309. 

Flood, Henry, hia political course, 
L 2«0 ; ii. 51. 

FosTKR, John, consulted by Pitt, L 
264. gSpcakcr of the Iri^h Houae 
of Coinmous, iii. ICO, Opposes 
the Union, 169. ChanntlJor of 
the Ex;ch(*quer for Irelanti 

Fox, Charles Jamea, [m 
quaintance with Pitt, 
course in Parliament^ 50. His 
praijjes of Pitt's elocpienee, 55, (J2, 
(JG. Conduct as Secretary of 
State, 77, Eesiffus, 78. Confers 
with Pitt, 92. His coalition with 
I>rrd North, 135. His opinion 
of Money BHIb, 110, His India 
Bill, 138. Diarnissed from oltiee, 
153. Hia courae in Parliament, 
170, im, 200. Keturned lor 
Wefitminstcr, 210. His great 
Bpeteli on the Senitiny^ 224. 
Pamllel between hiin ami Pitt, 
238. An opponent of Free Tnide, 
268, 27 5. An assail a nt of Wai'rcu 
Hastings, 301. Opposes tile 
Treaty of Commerce with FraTiee, 
332. Speiikft in behalf of tho 
Prince of Wales, 333. Goes t^» 
Italy, 383. His cotu'se on the 
Begeney Question, 401; ii, 4, 12, 
20. Differs from Burke, 4fJ. His 
compact for Westminster, 52, Op- 
poses the Canada Bill, 01. Ltj^es 
the friendahip of Burke, :>L His 
speeclies against the Russian ar- 
reament^ 114, 142. Second iii a 
due!, 158. Eejoices iu tlie news 
from Fmnco, 109. Pre^es for 
peace, 355. His Imprudent ex- 
pressions, 363, His advice to the 
Government, 387. Predicts a 
natJomil hankruptey, iii. 18. Se- 
cedes fro m Parliamen t, 4 1 . C el e- 
bration of bii? birthday. DO. Struck 
from the Privy Cuuneil, 128, Re- 



tile to the Irish Union, 230. Fond 
of a country life, 300. His com- 
ments upon Addington's govern- 
ment, 329. His speech at the 
Shakespeare, 356. Visits Paris, 
386. His views of the French 
policy, iv. 42. His great speech 
on the renewal of the war, 45. 
No friend to the Volunteer sys- 
tem, 107. Eager against Adding- 
ton, 13 k His generous conduct, 
172. His interview with Pitt,. 199. 
Bidicules the alarm of invasion, 
213. Assails the Government, 
255. Brings forward the Catholic 
question, 298. His views as to 
office, 335. His remarks on Tra- 
falgar, 344. His emotion at Pitt's 
illness, 388. Opposes the Public 
Funeral, 392. But supports the 
payment of the debts, 395. 
Fhancis, Philip, his speeches in the 
House of Commons, i 224. An 
assailant of Warren Hastings, 296. 
An opponent of Pitt, 324. Be- 
jected as Manager, 353. His taunt 
against Burke, ii. 67. Beflects 
upon Addington's government, iv. 


George III. offers the Premiership 
to Pitt, i. 103. Consults Lord 
Temple, 124, 147. His commis- 
sion to the Peers, 149. Bemarks 
on his conduct, 155. Welcomes 
Warren Hastings, 295. His life 
attempted, 31 2. His mental ma- 
lady, 383, 390. Bemoved to Kew, 
400. Progress of his conva- 
lescence, ii. 8. His recovery 
complete, 24, 27. His life at 
Weymouth, 37. Presses the 
Cinque Ports upon Pitt, ICO. 

(Visits the Fleet, 212. Opposed 
to the Boman Catholic claims, 
304. Assailed by mob-violence, 
353. His conscientious scruples, 
i iii. 272. Accepts Pitt's resigna- 
tion, 275. Bcnewal of his mental 
! malady, 292. His convalescence, 
.302. Much attaclied to Addin^- 
ton, 321. Desires to pay Pitts 
debts, 344. His displeasure, iv. 


37. Wholly estranged fr<Mn Pitt, 
56. Again afflicted in mind, 119. 
Applies to Pitt, 162. Puts a veto 
on Fox, 170. Incoherent in hid 
language, 194. His dinner de- 
scribed, 243. His decay of sight, / 
315. Besists the representalions^ 
of Pitt, 334. 

George IV., as Prinoe of Wales, 
his separate establishment, i. 123. 
Wears Fox's colours, 208. At- 
tached to Mrs. Fitzherbert, 331, 
334. At Windsor Castle, 390. 
His course on the Begency ques- 
tion, 396, ii. 18, 25. His mar- 
riage, 315. Separates from his 
consort, 367. Discusses a Bill 
of Begency, iii. 296, 300. His 
fresh debts, iv. 12. His political 
views, 136, 140. Beconciled to 
the King, 228. ^ 

GiBiJON, E., his opinion of Pitt, Lr 

GiLLRAY, James, his caricatures, iv. / 
. 261, 313. 

GooBtrees, the Club described, i. 53. 

GowER, Earl, named President of 
the Council, i. 157. Created 
Marquis of Stafford, 307. 

GowER, Earl (son of the preceding), 
ambassador at Paris, ii. 55. See 

Grafton, Duke ofi his course in 
politics, i. 88, 92. Befuses office, 
165, 235. 

Grattan, Henry, his remark upon 
Flood, i. 261. Opposes the Irish 
Propositions, 273. Supports the 
claim of the Prince of Wales, ii. 
28. His intercourse with Pitt, 
282, 287. Moves Boman Catho- 
lic Emancipation, 303, iii. 100. 
A witness at the Maidstone trials, 
124. Struck from the Privy 
Council, 153. Opposes the Union, 
222. His first appearance in the 
British House of Commons, iv. 

Grknvtllf, Thomas, elected for 
Bucks, i. 33. Accedes to the 
government, ii. 243. Proposed 
as negotiator at Luneville, iii. 241. 

Grenvillk, William W., afterwards 
Lord, his defence of his brother 
Temple, i. 159. Named Pay- 



inrtster of the Forces, 16tiu At 
the B-niril of Trade, 30G. Sug- 
gesteil m Iriah Sf^cretary, 30^, 
Sint to rnria, 344, Hia unsiic- 
CH.-jsfiil fipuccli, 3»j2. Elected 
Bpetikfr» ii, 20. Ntunod Ht?cre- 
tiiry of 8tiit€\ a.'i. Riiinccl to the 
Poemge, 7^^. Tmnaftrrtnl to tho 
Foreifjn Qtticc\ 121. Hiaehanici' 
tt?r. 122, Otfera to retire, 28L 
Diflfera from liis collertguea, iii, 5;i 
Hia correspondt^ncti with Tidley- 
mod, 2lU. Hw vitjwa upon the 
Cora Laws» 247. Oppi>*sL'3 tho 
Pesice, ^^5, 3(;0. Dt^'airtta Pi Ha 
return, 411*. Vi.sita liim at Wid- 
mer, iv. 27. His letter to Lord 
>Vellealcy. 70, Differs from Pitt. 
114. Commuraeatioiia betweou 
them, 151. 172. 187. Riclienlea 
the miiitiry projxmitlonp, 212. 
Hia symputhy witli Lord Mel- 
ville, 312. Hia tears at the loss 
of Pitt, 375, 3Sil. Beeomea Fii^t 
Lord of the Treasury, 390. 

Grey, Cbarle:?. his first appeiimnbe 
in the House of OommoTia, i. 325, 
Hia interview with the Prince of 
WrtleiH, B34. Chumeter of, hy 
Burke, 357, Prwisea fur pence, 
li. 297. Opposes the Iriah Uitioii, 
iii. 2;J0, Doobts our Maritime 
claimij, 259. Kefusea a Cttbitiet 
oilice, 367. Heiida a meetJog of 
Fox'jj frieiitls, iv, 173, Hia iuter- 
view witii Pitt, UH). 

Gafcv, Geueral Sir Charles, hia auc- 
cess in the West Indies, ii. 2(i2, 
Kaiaed to the Peemge, iii. 3t>7. 

Gi7!LFURD, Earl of faee Lord 
KoRTH), opposea the Iliissian ar- 
mament, ii. 114. IliiJ death, 150, 

GusTAVLTs III., hia war with Ru&eia. 
ii. 103. Aaaii^dinated by Aiikar- 
Btrom, 153. 

Hadfieli>, Jamea, hia attempt on 

tho King a lite, iii. 221. 
HAiiHvvi(?KH, Earl of, hia vlewa as 

Lord Lieutiemmt, iii. 323. Ro- 

ai^s, iv. 339. 
HAtiDY, Thornjis, hia arrest, ii. 230, 

And trial, 2tJ7. 


HATiars, Sir James, his aecount of 
tho Kin^ of l^ruBsia, i. 312. Hia 
ncgotiiitions in Hulland, 340, 315. 
Created Lord Midmeabury, 380. 
See Malmesbltry. 

Haruowby, Lord (see Ryder), be- 
eomea Fureij^n SecretiJirj-, iv. 1H(K 
Consnita Lord Jlalme.ibury, l'i)9, 
Hia viewg of Spanji*h affairs, 2in. 
Retires from ill-health, 235. Hia 
letter from Bath, 2t>8. A^^in in 
ofliee, 315. Hia miasion to Ber- 
lin, 351. 

Ha8Tin<5«, Warren, bin rctam from 
Indui, I. 295. Proceedings a^inat 
him, 299, 327. Commeneemeiit 
of hi^ trial, 354. Ita progress, ii, 
33, 82, 80, 244. Ita conclusion, 
318. His death, 320. 

Hawkicsoury, Lord (see R, B. 
jEXKr>-80N), named Secretary of 
^taU\ iii. 322. Warmly praisetl 
by Pitt, 328. Summoned by writ 
to the Home of Peers, iv, 99. 
Hia hist letter t-o Pitt, 3tj9. 

HAYLiiY, W., Ida aequuintanee with 
Pitt i. 4. 

UocHE, General, eoranuMida in Brit- 
tany, ii. 339, 343. Deaigna thf^ 
invuaioM of Ireland, 384, iii. 5. 
His death, 09. 

Hulwood, purehui^e of, by Pitt, i. 
279. Hia works and improve- 
meuta, 321. New raortgrige upon, 
iii. 4. Ita aale, 349. 

Hood, Lord, hia defeat at West- 
minster, i. 377. CommandB off 
Ooraica. ii. 237* 

Ho WE, Earl, hia victory of the First 
of June, ii. 240. Hia lettura from 
Bath, iii. 24. Gniutji the petitions 
of the aeamen, 32. 

HusKissoN, Wm \nKit« Pitt at Wal- 
mer, iv. 30, Named Secretiir}' of 
tlie Trenaur}% 191. His letter to 
BtkiK 302. 


Impey, Sir Elijah, eaao of, i. 358.' 

Jkityll, J., hifl reminlsceucea of 
Pitt, i. 53, 58, 63. 

X 2 





Jenkinson, Charles, the leader of 
the "King's Friends," i. 149. 
Created Lord Hawkesbury, 306. 
And Earl of Liverpool, ii. 204. 

Jenkinson, Robert Banks, his first 
speech, ii. 142. His ** March to 
Paris," 204. See Hawkesbdry. 

Jervis, Sir John, his success in the 
West Indies, ii. 263. And at the 
battle of St. Vincent, iii. 10. 
Created an Earl, 12. See St. 

Jones, Paul, commands a Russian 
fleet, ii. 103* His disgrace and 
death, 121. 

Jones, Tyrrwhitt, his course in the 
House of Commons, iii. 253. 

Joseph II., his character and mea- 
sures, i. 252. Declares war against 
Turkey, ii. 102. His death, 107. 

JovcK, Rev. Jeremiah, his arrest, ii. 

Kenyon, Lord, his Chief Justice- 
ship and Peerage, i. 378. Dis- 
cusses the Coronation Oath, iii. 
263. His opinion of Thurlow, 
301. His death, 371. 


liA Fayette, General, his unde- 
cided course, ii. 163. Arrested by 
the Prussian outposts, 166. De- 
bate on his captivity, 393. 

Lageard, Abbe de, his reminis- 
cences of Pitt, i. 133. 

Lamh, Hon. William, retorts upon 
the Anti-jacobin^ iii. 88. 

Lansdowne, Marquis of (see Shel- 
burne), inveighs against the Go- 
vernment, ii. 354. His financial 
predictions, iii. 18. Character of 
his speeches, 324. His death, iv. 

Lauderdale, Earl of, a warm 
friend of Fox, ii. 151. His duel 
with Arnold, 158. Replies to 
Bishop Horsley, 363. 

Law, Edward, his shining ability, 
i. 356. His excellent speeches, ii. 
318. Named Attorney-General, 
iii. 322. And Chief Justice, 371. 

Lee, John, his speech on the Lidia 
Bin, i. 145. 

Leeds, Duke of (see Carmarthen), 
his conduct of the Foreign Of- 
fice, ii 54. 

Lennox, Colonel, his duel with the 
Duke of York, iL 36. As Duke 
of Richmond the first President 
of the Pitt Club, 298. 

Lichfield, Bishop of, his corre- 
spondence with Pitt, iL 128. 

Lincoln, Bishop of (see Prety- 
man), his charge against Fox, ii. 
119. Reviews tiie administration , 
186. Reads Theology with Pitt, 
iii. 64. His views of the Roman 
Catholic question, 278, 304. Ex- 
amines Pitt's affairs, 346. His 
advice in politics, 363, 385. De- 
sires the Archbishopric of Can- 
terbury, iv. 233. Averse to Ad- 
dington, 240. Disappointed in 
his views, 252. At Putney, 376. 
Attends Pitt in his dying hours, 
• 380, 383. 

Livingston, Mr., his overtures in 
England, iv. 199. 

Load Manage, a Cinque Port Court, 
iv. 11. 

Long, Charges, named Secretary of 
the Treasury, ii. 123. Resigns, 
iii. 289. Negotiates between Pitt 
and Addington, iv. 26. Confers 
with Pitt in London, 92. Goes 
as Secretary to Ireland, 330. 

Lonsdale, Earl of (see Lowther), 
against Pitt on the Regency ques- 
tion, ii. 12. 

Lough iJORO UGH, Lord, consulted by 
the Prince of Wales, i. 393. His 
scheme of a Coup d'J^taU 402. 
Desires to join Pitt, ii. 159. Re- 
ceives the Great Seal, 183. His 
severity in office, 210. Blames 
Lord Fitzwilliam, 301. Intrigues 
against Pitt, iii. 264, 269. Dis- 
missed from office, 290. Reverts 
to Fox, 301. Raised to an Earl- 
dom, 323. See Rosslyn* 

Louis XVI. declares war against 
the King of Hungary, ii. 154. 
Tumult against him, 162. Im- 
prisoned in the Temple, 165. His 
trial and execution, 184. 

LowTHER, Sir James, offers Pitt a 




Beat ill Parliament, L 47. Created 
Earl of I^nfldftle» 213. Hnis 


"liovaliats, American, caa© of the, i. 

Macau LAV, Lord, hia criticism on 
Latirentiuf^ i. 5. Inquires why 
Lt^rdToniplp resigni^d, 161. Ite- 
views Pitt SI whole iidiniiiifcitrutioij, 
ii, iSG, DigcuKHC'S Pitt a vit^vva on 
KeiV>rni, iii, *229, Ilia opinion of 
CauniQg. 314. Jufitillea the re- 
oewal of tlio war» iv. 43. 

Mackintosh, Jamos, hm Vindieim 

MAHoy, Charlea, Lord, marries 
Pitt's eldest Hiater, i. I'd, At- 
tends Lurd ChfttJiani to the 
House of Lords, 21. Hia Essay 
on Electrieity, 28. Hia speech 
at Ayluabury, 40. His second 
miirriiij^c, 43. Ilia Bill to pre- 
vent brihery at Electiona, 7B. 
At jv meeting in Downing Street, 
l<i(>. Denounces George Hose, 
222, BncceeiLtj as Earl Stanhope, 
• 2i>2, His Bill to improve county 

_KElection8, 294. See SrANnocii:. 

Mahos, Philip Henry, Lord, after- 
wards tourtii Earl Stuuhope, bis 
reininiicences of Pitt, t, 8, 17, 
2i)U, A vlMitor at Walnier Castle, 
. iv. 10, 4L His notes of Pitt's coq- 
eraition, 83. Marries a da ugh i er 
'of Lord Carrington, 99. His 
further notes, 363. Pitt's lost let- 
ter tu biui, H08. 

MALMi:snLitv, Lord (seo Hakris), 
his mission to Bninswick, ii. 31ij. 
And to Parb, 4(12. Negotiates 
Rt Lille, iih 54. Returns to 
Loudon, fiO. Mtide an Earl, 204. 
With Pitt at Ilatlj, 403, 410, 4:^2. 
His reminisceuees, iv. 34<K 

Martmt^^ war with tlie, ii. 332, 367. 

Maiisham, Cluirles, his eiForts for 
ftn union of parties, i. 188. 

MarteUo towers, derivation of the 
name, iv. 212. 

Mavnooth, College of, founded^ ii. 

Melville, Viscount (see Dundas), 


hiB mission to Walmer Castle, iv. 
2L In eorrespoudeueo with Pitt, 
139, 145, 150. At the head of 
the Admiralty, 270. Cfiarg^Js 
against him, 273. Resigns his 
employmentfl, 284. His loiter tu 
Pitt, 2^t2. Impeached by the 
House of Comiijona, 310. Visita 
Pitt at Bath, 353. Last letter to 
him from Pitt, 3GG. 
MicriELET, M,, his charge against 

Pitt repelled, iv. 405. 
MiDDLBTux, Sir Cliarles, an early 
opponent of the Slave Trade, i. 
3b7, Named First l^ord of Um 
Adminilt)% iv, 287, Created a 
Peer, 290. See Barham. 
MiNTo, Ixird (see Sir G, Elliot), 
his negotiations t^t Vienna, id. 
MiTFORD, Sir John, his Bill in favour 
of the Roman Catholics, il 1 00. 
Nam ed Soli e itor - General , 1 04 . 
Hia letter to Pitt, 305, Becomen 
AtUirney-General, Ui, 221, And 
Spetiker, 283. Created Lord 
Bedesdjile, 3iJ6. 
MorrtA, lijirl of, his motions on the 
state of Ireland, iii. lOti. Nego- 
tiates on the port of the Prince, 
iv. 135. 
Moj^THtJSE, Duke of, aa Trf>rd Gra- 
ham asstuled in the Rolliitd, i. 
284. Change of oflic© proposed 
tij him, ii. 293. 
MtniNiN^iTOJf, Earl of, his early yeiirs 
in ollioe, i. 309. Appointed tro- 
ver nor- General of India, iii. 74. 
His LatiD poetry, 88, Conquers 
Mysore. IHO, Created a Marquis, 
192. See Wklli^lkv. 
]\L>Ritis, Captain, his aonga, i. 285 ,* 

iii. 90. 
MuRHiR, Gouvernenr, his opinion of 

the Freueh Eevolution, ii, 40. 
Ml IK, Thomas, his cliaraeter and 
trial, ii. 211. Discussed in Par- 
liaiiient, 225. 
MtTLGRAVt:, Henry, T^ord, his course 
in politics, iii. 317. With Pitt at 
Bath, 403, 422. His letters to 
Wftlmer, iv. 85. Retort hi him 
at breuktaBt, 87, Beeo mes B' orei l» i i 
S ec re taiy, 243. His p oe m on Tra- 
falgar, 354. 

X 3 




Mutiny in the fleet at Portsmouth, 
iii. 23. And at Sheemess, 33. 


Napoleon I. (see Bonaparte) re- 
pairs to Boulogne, iv. 214. Post- 
pones his projects of invasion, 
-. 217. Crowned at Notre Dame, 
\^- 222. His opmion of Pitt, 226. 
^ His territorial aggrandisements, 
317. Besumes his projects of in- 
vasion, 320. Indignant with Vil- 
leneuve, 325. Turns his arms 
against the Austrians, 327. Pre- 
vails at Ulm, 340. Conquers at 
Austerlitz, 368. 

Necker, Mademoiselle, story re- 
specting, i. 134. 

Nelson, Horatio, afterwards Lord, 
his conduct in Corsica, ii. 237, 
378. And at the hattle of St. 
Vincent, iii. 11. Loses his right 
arm, 72. Gains the battle of the 
Nile, 140. Eaised to the Peerage, 
144. Commands at Copenhagen, 
334. His views in politics, iv. 
321. His pursuit of Villeneuve, 
323. Writes to Pitt upon Sar- 
dinia, 328. Their parting inter- 
view, 329. His victory and death 
at Trafalgar, 341. 

Nicholson, Margaret, her attempt 
on the life of George HI., i. 312. 

Nootka Sound, aflSur of, ii 49. Con- 
cluded, 62. 

Norfolk, Duke of, dismissed from 
his employments, iii. 90, 91. 

North, Lord, his administration, i. 
49. Kesigns, 69. His coalition 
with Fox, 95. Dismissed from 
office, 153. Failure of his eye- 
sight, ?52. Succeeds to the Earl- 
dom of Guilford, ii. 34. See Guil- 

NovosiLTZOFF, M. dc, his negotia- 
tions, iv. 303, 306. 


O'CoiGLEY, alias Quigley, his arrest, 
iii. 113. His trial, 123. And 
execution, 125. 


O'Connor, Arthur, his arrest, iii. 

113. And trial, 123. Goes to 

France, 125. 
Orange, Princess of^ her arrest,!. 

Orange Society founded, iii. 98. 
Orleans, Duke of, his letter to 

Pitt, iii. 401. 
Otto, M., his negotiations, ilL 239» 

351, 390. 

Paine, Thomas, account of, ii 69. 
His ** Bights of Man," 87. The 
second part, 156. Elected to the 
French Convention, 171. His 
trial and sentence, 178.- His 

Paley, Dr., jest ascribed to him, 1. 
205. His writings much admire^ 
by Pitt, 250. Desire of Pitt to^^ 
raise him to the Bench, iv. 408. 

Palmer, Bev. T. F., account of his 
trial, ii. 214. 

Parker, Bichard, chief of the mu- 
tiny at the Nore, iii. 33. His 
trial and execution, 48. 

Patten, Colonel, his motion for a 
Vote of Censure, iv. 53. 

Paul I., his accession, ii. 405. His 
capricious policy, iii. 238. Con- 
spiracy against him, 335. 

Peel, Bobert, his munificent sub- 
scription, iii. 92. Created a Ba- 
ronet, 254. 

Peel, Bight Hon. Sir Bobert, his 
remark on Chatham and Pitt, ii. 

Pelham, Thomas, named Secretary 
for Ireland, ii. 308. Secretary of 
State, iii. 322. 

Peltier, Jean, his libellous articles, 
iii. 388. Tried and convicted, 
iv. 15. 

Perceval, Spencer, named Solicit , 
tor-General, iii. 322. And Attor- 
ney-General, 372. 

Petty, Lord Henry, declines office, 
iv. 190. His able speech, 280. 
His intended Amendment, 388. 

Pixdar, Peter, account of, i. 286. 
His lines in 1803, iv. 81. 

Pitt, William, his birth, i. 1. His 
remark on his mother's peerage. 


iJ. Hia tmgMy of Lattretitiuf, 5, 
Pvogreas of hiB education at boiiit- , 
7. Goes to Cambridge, ll>» Hi:* 
illneafi, 12, Ki^ studic^a and pitr- 
suits, J 5, 17, 19. Attends hia 
futhtr t4j the HoiiiJG of Lords*^ 20. 
Al Ilia ttitlicr'a funiTul, 21, IIih 
pulilished letter, 2'X AiLijiiin at 
Cambridge, 25. At Linooltra Ina, 
2ij. A uaTKlidate for the UniYtr* 
eiij, 30. GcwH to the mii»iiierade, 
38. Callwi to the But, 42. Gws 
t)io Circuit, 43. Defeated at 
'Cambridrje, 44. Elected for A !>- 
pkby. 4(j* Jijins ii party at the 
Boar's Head, Easteheap, 53. His 
first s]WL>et'lie8 in Parliament, 55, 
6i>, W, Again goes the Circuit, 
62. Refujctes office, 72, Proposes 
Parliamentary Reform, 73. Be- 
A coraea Chancellor of the Exche- 
^f qner, 79. Confers witli Fox, 5*2. 
Hiss speecbe^, 9tJt 09. Refuge^ the 
Premiership, 107. Resigns, 113. 
Ilia exenraion to France, 129. Oi>- 
poaes the Imlia Bill, 140. Named 
First Lord of the Treasury, 155. 
Mis Cabinet, ltj5. Hia coursii in 
Purlifiment, 170, 190. Assailed 
in St. JaniLtia SheLt^ 193. Pro- 
vails in the new Eleetions* 2l)5, 
y IC£2i£i££e§_ ih& iiaaiieei?^ 215. At 

* Brighton, 229. Parallel "between 
bim and Fox, 238. Moves for 
l^arlianiontary Reform, 256. His 
Iriiih Fropoi*itioni5, 2G<J. Piir- 
chftseis Holwood, 279. Hia Sinli- 

/ing Fuuil, 28y. Hid apeech on the 
Benafes Charge, 302. And on 
.^> the Treaty^ uf . Commc^iitiii with 

* Fmoce, 323. Smumona a meet* 
inj^'of the Biahojifl, 337. His 
coursae on Indian affiiirs, 359. 
And on the Re^eiiey Question, 
Si>5 ; ii. 5, 12. Itutuses the free 

_^ gift of £100,000, IG. His Jimm- 
cial meiisnreaj 32. Previuls hi 
tlio new Elections, 52, jVnd in 
the new Budget, 1^1. Declinea 
^'iXia Gurtef, 85. Hia Canada Bdl, 
^ 89. Itehmjuishes the Russitm 
armtiment, 115. Rebukes the 
Bishop of Lichfield, 129. His 
plan on Tithes, 131. His great 
bp^ech aguiukbt the ISiuvo Tmde, 


143. Confers with Lord Lough- 
borough, 159. Named Ixtrd "Wiir- 
den of the Cinoue Purts, ItJl. 
Review of his ail ministration in 
peace and war, 185. His anxiety 
rt'Bpeeting Bundua, 253. Confers 
with Grattaiij 282, 287. Hia 
gout, 317. Hj8 anticipations, 328. 
His pLins to relieve tlie Scarcity, 
35 G. His Treason and Se<htioii 


Bills, 360. Proposes a Legacy </* 
Duty, 368. And a change in the ^ 
>' Poor Law3j 395. His attachment 
to the^lon. Eleanor Eden, iil l. 
Suspends cash payments at the 
Bank, 16. His firmness in peril, 
3S). Failure of hia health, 61. 
His translation from Horace, \j5. 
His Ijf>yalty Lwm, 05. His duel 
with Tierney, 129, Seriuu«ly ill, 
135. His Ineorae Tax, 1112, Pro- 
poses an Union with Ireland, 170, 
172. Hit* plan for a Dutch cam- 
paign, 195. His answer to Tier- 
ney, 216. Diacufisea the Conven- 
tion of El Artah, 236. Inclines 
to the system of Corn Laws, 247, ^ 
His views upon the Roman Ca-^^ 
til olio Queshon, 265. Resigns, 
275. Takes leave of tliu King, 
308. Supportis the new govern- 
ment, 327, 331, 338. His pecu- 
niary embarrasijnients, 34 1 » Con- 
tributions of his frieufls, 348, His 
first estmngement from Adding- 
ton, 369. Public celebration of 
bis birthilay, 379, His life at 
Walnier, 391. iVnd at Bath, 405. 
Consulted by Lord Chatham, iv. 
3. And by Lord Melville, 21. 
Hia meeting with Adthngton, 32, 
Alienation between theui, 36. 
His great speech on tlie renewid 
of the war, 45. And uq Colonel 
Patten's motion, 53. Currits Ad- 
dington s measUTLS of lluunce, 63, 
Furms a regiment of Yolnnteers, 
81, Consults with Ruse and 
Long, 92. Discusses the Volun- 
teer systiem, 103. Di^tVrs from 
Grenville, 111. Ctiiifcrs with 
Malmetibury, 120. Moves a cen- 
eure on Lord St. Vincent,, 127. 
His eorrespondence with Lord 
MelviUo, 13^, 145. Applied to 




by the Kin^, 162. Fonns a new 
administration, 189. His inter- 
view with Fox and Grey, 199. 
His Additional Force Bill, 205. 
His manuscript notes, 223. His 
overtures to Addington, 236. Re- 
conciled with Steele, 249. His 

^ defence of the government, 255. 

' His " passage of arms " with She- 
ridan, 261. His last Budget, 264. 
His emotion at the vote against 
Lord Melville, 283, 295. His 
speech on the Catholic Question, 
300. Forms a new coalition 
against France, 304, 318, 326. 
Presses the King for an extended 
system of administration, 334. 
Receives the tidings of Ulm, 340. 

/And of Trafalgar, 343. His last 
speech in public, 346. Goes to 
Batb, 353. Effects upon him of 
the Austerlitz despatch, 363. Re- 
turns to Putney, 373. Notes of 
his last illness, 378. Prays with 
Bishop Tomline, 383. His tes- 
tamentary injunctions, 384. His 
death anuounced, 389. Honour 
shown to his memory, 391 . Pay- 
ment of his debts, 393. His Pub- 
lic Funeral, 396. Statues and por- 
traits, 397. His character in 
/private life, 402. Religious prin- 
ciples, 403. Kindness to tiie 

/ poor, 404. Self-command, 406. 
/j Neglect of literature, 408. Power 
/ of extempore translation, 410. 
Notes of bpeechcs, 411. As Mi- 
nister of the Finances, 413. In 
his conduct of the war, 417. Con- 
clusion, 419. 

Pitt, James Charles, enters the 
navy, i. 2. His early death, 48. 

Pitt, Lady Hester, her marriage to 
Lord Mahon, i. 13. In ill health, 
39. Her death, 42. 

Pitt, Ladv Harriot, her marriage 
to Mr. Eliot, i. 278. Resides in 
Downing Street, 291. Dies in 
child-birtli, 313. 

Pitt, Thomas, of Boconnoc, op- 
poses Parliamentary Reform, i. 
75. Yields to it, 119. Created 
Lord Camelford, 182. See Ca- 
mel ford. 

Portland, Duke of, his character. 


i. 78. Appointed First Lord of 
the Treasury, 113. Dismissed 
from office, 153. His communi- 
cations with Pitt, 185. Pressed 
to join the government, ii. 159, 
183. Becomes Home Secretarv, 
243. His letter to Pitt, iv. 208. 
Retiresfrom office, 249. 

Potemkin, Prince, commands 
against the Turks, ii. 102. His 
instructions to Suwarrow, 109. 
His death, 120. 

PowYs, Thomas, his -course in Par- 
liament, i. 175. Strives for an 
union of parties, 187, 191, 197. 
Created Lord Lilford, iii. 80. 

Pretyman, Rev. G., tutor of Pitt 
at Cambridge, i. 10. His account 
of his pupil, 15, 17, 19. Be- 
comes a Canon of Westminster, 
183. His account of Mr. Eliot, 
315. Becomes a Bishop, 322. See 

Price, Dr. Richard, his schemes of . 
finance, i. 289. His discourse at / 
the Revolution Society, ii. 65. 

Priestley, Dr. Joseph, his charac- 
ter, ii. 136. Riot raised against 
him, 137. Elected to the French 
Convention, 171. 

Puis A YE, Comte de, his projects, ii. 
258, 334. Lands at Quiberon, 
338. His further fortunes, 345. 

Reeves, John, sets on foot a loyal 
Declaration, ii. 178. His foolish 
pamphlet, 364. Tried and ac- 
quitted, 365. 

Richmond, Duke of, an early re- 
former, i. 73, 75. Named Master 
of the Ordnance, 165. His plan 
of fortifications, 288. His re- 
monstrances to Pitt, ii. 75, 112. 
Cliallenges Lord Lauderdale, 158. 
Retires from office, 298. 

RiGBY, Richard, his negotiation 
with Lord North, i. 96. Defends 
the close boroughs, 119. His 
opinion of Pitt, 326. 

Robespierre, Maximilien, his as- 
cendency, ii. 196. Overthrown, 




KocKtNOHAxr, Mjirqilia of, bis cold 
lettt^r to Pitt, i, 3 L His charac- 
ter, 50, Beeomca Pnuie Mitiia- 
ter, m. Ilia deatb, 7S, 82. Peii- 
sioo graiibxi by bbc, 178. 

Ri>LLE, Jnbu^ afttTWarda Jjord, his 
cxjurse in politics* i, 28!i. Ketlecta 
upon tbe Prince of Wales, 3^3. 
Created a Peer, iii. 80. 

BoUnuh accoimt of the, i 282. 

RusK, George^ Secretary of tho 
Treasury, i, IGG. Coiiveys nri 
offer from the City, ii. 16. Iti the 
full eoutidenoe of Pitt, iii. 277. 
Eetirtri from office, 289. Hia 
cliLiructtr, ill4, Indigujiat with 
Lord Auckland, 32^. lu corn*- 
, Bpoiidt'Tice with tlie Kiiifr. 345, 
Joiua Pitt ftt Bath, 405, 425. At 
Walmer, iv. 3. Attd in Lon- 
don, 92, Oonsulteil hj Bishop 
Tomliiie, 233. Coufejs with tho 
King, 334. Ilia last interview 
with Pitt, 37a. 

RossLYX, Eai4 of (aeo Lough- 
BOHOtJon)^ adarigler iit Court, iii. 
323. His death and chara^iter, 
iv. 25L 

Ro\vAN, Hamilton, Ma trial at Dub- 
bn. ii. 22L 

Utissian Armament, actsount of the, 
ii. 112, 118. 

Rutland, Dake of, an early friend 
of Pitt, i. 4<J. Named Lord Privy 
Seal, 165, And Lord Licuteutuit 
of Iceland, 183. Hib Iriiih mm- 
suneB. -'j3. Ilia f^reat pcrstmal 
popuhtrity, 274. Hirf death, 349. 

Ryder, Hini, Dudley, Ida reiiiini&* 
ceuccd of Pitt, i. IG, Chiingea 
Ids course on the Slave Trade 
question, ii. 88, Niimcil Pay- 
master of the Forces, 123. &> 
. CQods Pitt in a duel, iii. 130. 
, Succeeds to the Peerage, iv. t)9. 
^Bee HAiiKownr. 


St. Vincent, Earl (see Jervis), 
named Firist Ijoi-d of the Adnii- 
ralty, iii, 322. Desires to resign, 
iv, 29. Faults of his iidini lustra- 
tion, 110. Censured by Pitt, 
127. Ilia L-rror^i retrieved, 271. 

SooTT, Major, his character, i, 297, 
Pleads for Htiatiuga, 303, il 87. 

•Scott, Sir John, his lirst spetuh in 
Parbament, i. 14-1, Appointed 
Solicitor-General, 378. And At- 
torney, ii. 104, His Bp*.'ecli at 
Hardy's Trial, 2C7. Becomea 
Chief Justice ^ith u Peerage, iii. 
221. See Elw>n. 

So>TT, 8if Walter, admimtion of 
Pitt for bis poetry, iv, 403, 

SiiKLiuJRN?:, Earl of, tho loader of 
lx)rd Chatham 'ii frienda;, i, 51. 
Btf comes Secretary of Stsite, 70. 
And Prime Minihter, 78. His 
cimrse, SS, 02, 90, Resigns, 103. 
Created Jltirquia of Laiiadowne, 
234. See Lass down k. 

SHEntDAN, R. B., bis course in Par- . 
liament, i. 51. Hia retort UfHun 
Pitt, 97, His great speech on tbo 
Begum Charge, 327. Defends 
Mra. Filzherbcrt, 335. Anjauuger 
at Hastings's trial, 357. Ilia im- 
prudence in the Re^ncy de- 
bates, ii. 8, Presses tor peace, 
355. Prorlicts a national Tbank- 
ruptcy, iii, 18. Condemus tho 
mutiny of the aeameo, 44. Sup- 
ports the admiTiistrtition of Ad- 
diugton, 41(;, iv. 100. Replied i 
to by Pitt, 130. Refuses ofiiee, I 
134. Hia ifiiit encounter witii I 
Pitt. 2t;i, / 

Sinr'LEV, Dr. WiiliuiD, bis trial, ii. * 

S1D.M0UTH, Viseount (ace Addixg- yf'| 
TON), hostile to Lord Melville, iv. /[ 
278. Tenders his remgnation, 
289. Resigns, 314. Mental dc- 
rangejnent of bia son, 330, His 
views in opposition, 359. Hia re* 
miniscences, 402. 

S.^M H, Adam, adoption of bis prin- Ii 
eiplea by Pitt, ii. IH, 305, iii. II 
220. Hia remark upon Pitt's! I 
convGratition, iv. 403. 

Smith, Robert, exauimes Pitt's af- 
fairs, i. 281. Createil Ij«:>rd Cur- 
ringtoa, iii, SO. See Caroinotun. 

Smiih, Sir Sidney, Uiken prisoner, 
ii. 378. His defence of Acre, iii. 
193. Negotiates the Convention 
of El Arish, 234. His dash at 
Osteiid, iv. 217. 




SoMBREDiL, M. de, his command in 
Brittany, ii. 337, 340. Put to 
deutli, 344. 

Sparry-, Mrs., oflSce granted to, 1. 

Speculation, a favourite game at 
cards, iii. 422, 429. 

Spkncer, Earl, becomes Lord Privy 
Seal, ii. 243. His character, 251. 
Transferred to the Admiralty, 
274. His correspondence wifli 
Stanhope, 399. His measures 
against the mutiny of the seamen, 
iii. 27, 39, 42. 

Stafford, second Marquis of (see 
Gower), his intended motion in 
the House of Lords, iv. 149, 160, 

Stanhope, James, first Earl, his 
Russian policy, ii. 101. 

Stanhope, Charles, Earl (see 
Ma HON), opposes Pitt on the 
Sinking Fund, i. 292. Censures 
the Service of the 5th of Novem- 
ber, ii. 34. Chairman of the Re- 
volution Society, 65. His letter 
to Grenville, 180. His extreme 
politics, 225, 295. His experi- 
ments in steam navigation, 397. 
Reappears in the House of Lords, 
iii. 218. 

Stanhope, Lady Hester, visits Pitt 
at Walmer, iii. 394. Settled in 
his house, iv. 85. Her lively 
sallies, 87. Appealed to by Can- 
ning, 244. With Pitt in his last 
illness, 369, 381, 385. Pension 
granted to her, 395. 

Stanhope, Hon. J. H., enters the 
Navy, iv. 40. His notes of Pitt's 
last Illness, 378. 

Stapleton, Mrs. Catherine, the 
friend and companion of Lady 
Chatham, i. 57. 

Steele, Thomas, Secretary of the 
Treasury, i. 166. A personal 
friend of Pitt, 249. Promoted, 
ii. 123. Reconciled, iv. 249. 

Stock DALE, John, account of his 
trial, ii. 43. 

Stormont, Lord, his vote against 
his colleagues, i. 150. Opposes 
the Russian armament, ii. 114. 
Succeeds as Earl of Mansfield, 

SuwARROW, Marshal, commands 
against the Turks, ii. 106. Takes 
Ismail, 109. His Italian cam- 
paign, iii. 194. 

Sydney, Lord (see Townshfnd), 
his complaints of Dundas, i. 228. 
Retires from oflBce, ii. 33. 

Talleyrand, M., his cabals in Eng- 
land, ii. 174. Named Minister 
for Foreign Affairs, iii. 57. His 
correspondence with Grenville, 

Tandy, N"apper,his activity in Irisli 
faction, i. 262, ii. 279. Lands in 
Donegal, iii. 155. 

Tate, Colonel, commands the Le- 
gion Noire, iii. 6. Surrenders, 9. 

Temple, Richard, fij^t Earl, his ad- 
vance of £1100 for Pitt's cham- 
bers, i. 26. His death, 33. 

Temple, George, second Earl, his 
speech at Aylesbury, i. 40. Ap- 
pointed Lord Lieutenant of Ire- 
land, 79. Consulted by the King, 
124, 147. His commission to the 
Peers, 149. Named Secretary of 
State, 153. His resignation, 158. 
Cause of that event, 161. His 
letters to Pitt, 163. Created Mar- 
qriis of Buckingham, 234. See 

Temple, Earl (son of the preced- 
ing), denounces the abolition of 
slavery, iv. 203. 

Thanet, Earl of, his trial, iii. 124. 

Thelwall, John, his arrest, ii. 230. 
And trial, 272. 

Thurlow, Lord, his advice to 
George III., i. 147. And to Pitt, 
179. The Great Seal stolen from 
him, 200. His froward temper, 
226. His support of Warren 
Hastings. 296. And of the Slave 
Trade, 370. Intrigues with the 
Prince of Wales, 394, 397. His 
temporising speech, ii. 8. De- 
clares for the King's authority, 
10, 15. His coolness with Pitt, 
31, 43. Dismissed from office, 
148. In opposition, 362, iii. 301. 

Tieuney, George, his rise and cha- 



m-cter, iii, 7B. Hk duel with 
Pitt, 12f>. Hia ParliiunrTiUrv at- 
tneka, 235, 21 9, H68. A ppmiitod 
Trt'sisurer of tlie Xavy» iv, 53. 
His oompliraeiit^ to Pitt, 159. 
DL'cIiut?a to ccintiiuie iri otllcc, 100. 

Time*^ the, its attacks opou Pitt, iii. 
423,, see Pretymast and hrs- 


ToSF,, Wolfe, 1)18 aecotmt of Muir, 
ii, 214, An iigent of the Roman 
CiithoHcs, 275. His rank in tlie 
French ojmy, SSt, iii, 5, On 
l^oiird the Dutch fleet, G8. Taken 
pridoner. 156. Dies, 157. 

TuoKK, Juhn Home, hia arrcsst, ii. 
230. And Trial. 27 h A eandi- 
dftte for Wegtminster, S74. Ex- 
(!hide<l from the House of Com- 
iiiooH, iii. 332, 

TowNKHENi>, Thonafts, his-chamct^^n 
i. 51. Becomes SmHtirv of 
Statt% 80, 83. Creuted 'Lord 
Sydney, See Sroxer, 

ViLLENxuvK, Admiral, Rails to tlie 
West Indies, iv. 321, Y^gn^es 
Bit Rohert Culder, 323. His de- 
feat at Trafiiljifur, 341, 

Volunteers, tiecouut of the. iv. 79. 
Bevieweii in Hyde Park, 9ii. 

Waud, Hon, .L W., his aeoonnt of 
Pitt's spceeh in 1803, iv. 48. 

WAJtD, Rohert, hronp:ht into Par- 
liament by IMtt, iii. 382. His 
pamphlet in Pitt's defunce, iv, 
1 18. Named Under Secretary of 
6t4ite. 243. 


Watson, Bishop, agviinet maintain - 
injar the Test Act. i, 337. De- 
fligHB an Iticomo Tux, in. 165. 

Wellesleit, Marquis (see Morn- 
INOTON), hifl complaints, iii. 232. 
Adheres to Pitt, 317, Recalled 
from India, iv. 229, Hia views 
of Indian pfdicv. 331. Pitt's last 
ktt<ir to hijn, 373. Their inter- 
view at Putaey, 375. 

WrLtESLEY, Sir ArUmr, eeoonds an 
Address in favour of the Roman 
Cat holies, ii. 277, His \'ictorie6 
in India, iv, 218, Returns to 
England, 331. His remark upon 
Trafalgar, 343. His reminiiieences 
of Pitt, 346. Pitt's opinion of 
him, 375. 

Wi^STMoiiLAND, Eiirl of, appointed 
Lord Lie a tenant of Ireliind, ii. 
42- Hi* condnct and policy, 270. 
Returns to England, 292. Named 
Lord Privy Seal, nS'S. 

WniTiimiAis Samuel, an aciivo an<l 
ahle member, ii. 395, Opposes 
tlie AddR*gi<, iii. 212. Aasaila 
I>ord Melville, iv. 270, 2S4, 292, 

Whitwobth, Lord, gcMss ambassador 
to P,'iris, iii. 386, His interviews 
with the First Consul, iv. 14, 19. 
Return:! to En jr hind, 43. 

WiLitKRFi>acK, William, his early \ 
friendship with Pitt, i. 52, His 1 
account of Pitt in private life, 53. 1 
Ami in public, 59. His villa and 
circle of frientla at Wimbledon, 
117. Goes to France with Pitt, 
129. Elected for Yorkshire, 206. 
A g^uest in Downinfc Street, 250. 
Difters from hiscon^tituentij, 271. 
Undertakes the abolition of tho 
Slave Trade, 308, ii. 34, 87, His 
visit at Burton Pynaent, 123, 
Declares for peace, 295. Reflects 
upon Fox, 387. His marriage, 
iii. 40. Hir^ Jfilitia Bill, 51. His 
course respecting Pitt's duel, iii. 
133- At Holwood, 183. In 
Downing Street, 214. l^Ieets 
Pitt at Wilileniess, iv. 4L In 
correspondence with Bankea, 68. 
Renews his efforts on the Slave 
Tmde. 202. His walk with Pitt 
round the Park, 250, Totes 
agains t Ix>rd Me 1 v ill e , 28 1 . Hia 
deaerifition of the " Au^sterlitz 
look," 3G4. 

Wilberforce Oak, at Holwcvod, ae- 
count of the, i. 368. iii, 349, 

W^iLLis, Dr. Francis, attends the 
Kinpr, ii. 2. Severely cr^Jss-ex- 
amineil, 21. His skilful treat- 
ment, 24, 31. Agaiu calied in, 
iii. 294. 



Willis, Dr. Thomai^ his letter to 
Pitt, iii 304. 

Wilson, "Rev. E., tutor to Pitt at 
home, i. 3. Follows him to Cam- 
bridge, 10. Appointed a Canon 
at Windsor, 183. 

Windham, W., his remark on Pittas 
style of oratory, i. 244. Becomes 
Secretary at War, ii. 243. His 
character, 251. Visits the army 
in Flanders, 257. His intended 
resiqfnation, 288. Hi« ardonr in 
debate, 363. In correspondence 
\nth Bmke, iii. 22, 49. Opposes 
the Peace, 360. Pitt's opinion of 
his speeches, 375. Defeated at 
Norwich, 383. Opposes the Vo- 
lunteer system, iv. 103, 109. 

WoRONzow, Count, his view of Pitt's 
conduct, L 350. And of Adding- 
ton's Ministry, iv. 53. 

W RAX ALL, Sir Nathaniel, his de- 
scription of Pitt, i. 240. Hia ca- 
lumnious charges, iii. 81. 

WwTLL, Rev. C, a'^l&de^ of 
Parliamentary Beform, 1. 73. 
Confers npon it with Pitt^ 256, 


York, Duke of^ his course on the 
Begency question, ii. 20, 25. His 
duel with Colonel Lennox, 36. 
Marries the Princess of Prussia, 
127. Commands in Flanders, 
200. Baises the siege of Dun- 
kirk, 205. His General Orders, 
234. Complaints of his conduct, 
259. Betums to England, 262. 
His campaign i^ Holland, iii. 
197. Desires Pitt's return, iv. 38. 

ToBKE, Charles, his plan for na- 
tional defence, iv. 62. Named 
Secretary of State, 99. Again in 
view for high office, 352.